ANTRIM – The Planning Board voted 5-2 Tuesday night to submit a legal brief to the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee arguing that the local board has sole authority over subdivisions in Antrim, in an attempt to assert some local control over a controversial wind energy project.
“If the Planning Board is silent on this issue, I think it really sends the wrong message that we don’t care either way,” said board chair David Dubois.
At issue is whether the SEC has the right to make decisions about subdividing land to accommodate the project – a 10-turbine, 30-megawatt facility on Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain. The SEC gave all interveners in the application by Antrim Wind the option of submitting a legal brief on the question.
According to Jesse Lazar, the vice chair of the Planning Board, the SEC has never before subdivided land to accommodate a development. But Antrim Wind has asked that the SEC make all decisions about subdivision, should the project be approved.
The project requires subdivision approval because an electrical power station will have to be built to provide electricity to structures that will be needed to service and support the turbines. The power station will be owned by Public Service of New Hampshire, which requires that such stations be built only on land owned by PSNH. That means a piece of the land would have to be subdivided and sold to the statewide utility.
This article appeared in full in the Thursday, July 19, 2012, edition of the Ledger-Transcript.
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