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Shelburne wind  

Credit:  The Recorder, 26 April 2012 ~~

Shelburne wind I

The Shelburne town meeting will present an opportunity to vote on articles to ban industrial wind and/or to enact a moratorium until the Planning Board can study the issues and write a bylaw for next year’s annual meeting. The petitioners of the ban rightly believed that if they did not act, the moratorium would come too late … they were right.

Mount Massaemet Windfarm, Inc. (Mr. Don Field) submitted a 2nd application for industrial wind turbines on April 2. The moratorium that the Planning Board proposed is too late to stop this application.

At the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on his original application last fall, Mr. Field stated that he needed specifics to fill out a complete application. He is right. There are no specifications in the current By-laws, so the ZBA will have to make a subjective judgment whether the application is complete and in the best interest of the town.

The voters, not the ZBA, need to decide what restrictions and specifications to apply, and they can’t do it yesterday. The Planning Board needs time to hear expert testimony on the issues involved and hold hearings to get input from the voters before presenting a bylaw for a vote next year.

On April 12, The Recorder editorial stated: “Town officials should be careful in the handling of the application. A wrong move could land the town in legal trouble.” The voters have never had an opportunity to vote on a specific bylaw regulating wind turbines. A decision by a few people on the ZBA is not in the best interest of the town.

The only way to stop the current application and let the voters decide is to vote YES on articles 17, 18, and 19. This will give the Planning Board time to bring another bylaw to the town for a vote next year.


Shelburne wind II

As a physician living in Shelburne I have closely followed the discussions concerning the wind project on Mount Massaemet.

Adverse health effects on persons living near large windmills have been demonstrated in many communities. I heard residents of Falmouth detail problems that they have experienced since a generating windmill was erected in their town.

I am extremely disturbed about problems such as migraine headaches, dizziness, and sleep disturbances that were detailed. Children are also affected by the audible and infrasound pulsations generated from the turning blades.

The Buckland Shelburne Elementary School lies less than a mile from the proposed generation site. The effects of sound and flicker have been detailed in many communities. It is imperative, that before making a decision on any wind proposal, Shelburne do an extensive study to document any effects of such a project on our town.

The Shelburne Planning Board has proposed a moratorium on wind generation facilities for one year until such a study could be done.

I fully support that effort. However, before the Board proposed such a “study time out,” an application for a wind project was submitted to the town, thereby making that project not subject to the moratorium.

Thus, it is critically important that the Shelburne town meeting pass both the ban of industrial wind and the moratorium. Such actions will stop all projects until a thorough study is finished. Then a new zoning bylaw could be voted upon and the people of Shelburne could make their siting decision in an informed and democratic way. Without passage of the ban on industrial wind at this time, the proposed project on Mount Massaemet will proceed without the benefit of a planning board study or informed Shelburne citizen input.


Source:  The Recorder, 26 April 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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