SHELBURNE – Frederick D. Field has withdrawn his application for a 6-megawatt, four turbine wind farm – possibly putting an end to what has been a running controversy in town for months now.
The withdrawal was received by Town Clerk Beverly Neeley on Tuesday afternoon.
The special permit application withdrawal means, at least, that any new wind turbine proposal could not be considered for at least a year, while the town’s wind turbine moratorium is in effect. And, pending approval from the Attorney General’s Office, a new bylaw banning commercial-scale wind turbines from the town would also put such projects on hold indefinitely.
A hearing was to have been held on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School. This would have been the first opportunity for the ZBA and the public to hear and discuss details of the plan. The Zoning Board of Appeals will still be meeting at the school at 7:30 p.m., and it will discuss what to do regarding the withdrawal and the public hearing, according to ZBA Chairman Joseph Palmeri.
When reached by telephone about an hour after he withdrew the Mount Massaemet Windfarm project, Fred Field of Brimfield said taking the proposal off the table “seemed like the right thing to do.”
“That was the advice I got, to withdraw without prejudice,” he said. “If a bylaw comes along that allows wind turbines, we would reapply.”
Right after hearing the plan was shelved, Palmeri said he was trying to find out what the board’s legal options are.
“I don’t quite know what’s next,” he said. “We may vote to accept the withdrawal. I’m trying to talk to legal counsel now.”
Palmeri said some people want the ZBA to accept the withdrawal “with prejudice,” which would mean Field could not resubmit a new plan for at least two years. “Without prejudice” would mean a new plan could be resubmitted at any time. However, unless the Planning Board’s rejection of a subdivision application for the turbines was appealed and overturned, new plans would fall under the town’s ban and moratorium bylaws.
Palmeri said he wants to follow the proper legal process.
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