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Plymouth Planning Board OKs one more continuance for DEP input on Stop & shop turbine  

Credit:  By Emily Clark | Wicked Local Plymouth | Posted Jun 08, 2013 | www.wickedlocal.com ~~

Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC asked the Planning Board for another continuance for its wind turbine proposal project Monday night, causing yet another delay in the approval process.

The Planning Board is supposed to vote on whether to recommend the Zoning Board of Appeals grant a special permit before the ZBA reviews the case.

The process is stepped so the advisory board advises the permit-granting board.

Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC has been struggling to keep its request for a special permit for a 275-foot wind turbine behind Stop & Shop at 129 Samoset St. moving in this orderly fashion.

The Planning Board continued Stop & Shop’s March hearing so feedback from the Department of Environmental Protection, or DEP, on the project’s sound study and other information could be included in the board’s review.

So Stop & Shop requested a continuance of the ZBA hearing as well to ensure this board heard the case after the Planning Board did. The ZBA granted that continuance in April, and the continued hearing was set for June 19.

But, according to Stop & Shop engineers, weather conditions weren’t favorable for the company’s sound study until recently, so Stop & Shop couldn’t submit the information to DEP for its review until just this week. That’s why the company requested the Planning Board continue the hearing again – so the DEP could review the information and submit its review to the Planning Board, so the Planning Board could review it before making a recommendation, so the ZBA could review all the above before the June 19 hearing to grant or deny the permit.

Getting the ducks lined up in order can be tricky, particularly when the weather is a factor in the dance.

Local attorney Ed Angley, representing Stop & Shop, said a DEP representative suggested it would take just a week to review his client’s information, meaning the Planning Board could have the information in hand within that time frame should the board agree to continue the meeting to next Monday, June 10. That holds out a hope that the project might just make it to the June 19 ZBA hearing without having to request yet another continuance.

The trouble is, some ZBA members have not been receptive, of late, to repeatedly continuing projects. Several votes have come harrowingly close to denying the request to continue, and one request was denied outright since that applicant had asked for too many prior continuances.

“I’m confident the ZBA won’t continue this,” Angley said.

It remains to be seen how Stop & Shop’s proposal will fare, given all the pieces that have to fall into place.

But the Planning Board voted unanimously to continue the hearing the June 10, with a time to be determined.

Wind turbine proposals haven’t had the warmest reception in Plymouth, and this one is no exception. Attorney David Paliotti, who represents Algonquin Heights, the residential area closest to the proposed turbine, contends that it will exceed the sound limit guidelines, cause health problems, blight the landscape, and cause property values to nosedive. The Stop & Shop turbine would be located approximately 600 feet from the Algonquin Heights apartment complex and 962 feet from the nearest home on Westerly Road. Drivers, residents and workers in the area will see it looming behind the Stop & Shop.

But, for Planning Board member Malcolm MacGregor, the spinning blades aren’t as much of an eyesore as the Federal Aviation Administration’s requirement that these behemoths sport a flashing red light at the top. An engineer for Stop & Shop noted that the red blinking light is a requirement.

Source:  By Emily Clark | Wicked Local Plymouth | Posted Jun 08, 2013 | www.wickedlocal.com

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

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