Act 250 (1970) and the Quechee analysis (1986) did not envision nor consider aesthetic impacts of ridgeline and hillside developments of industrial wind turbines and solar panels certified as public goods (“PSB degrading Vermont’s landscape,” Herald/Times Argus, March 22).
They also did not envision nor consider aesthetic impacts of telecommunications towers, though similar towers have been parts of Vermont’s landscapes since the advents of radio and television.
A recent decision by the New York Court of Appeals (equivalent to the Vermont Supreme Court) affirming that municipalities may use zoning to ban hydrofracking for natural gas is instructive: home rule there, local control here (Wallach etc. v. Town of Dryden, et al.; Cooperstown Holstein Corporation v. Town of Middlefield, June 30, 2014).
“We are asked in these two appeals whether towns may ban oil and gas production activities, including hydrofracking, within municipal boundaries through the adoption of local zoning laws. We conclude that they may because the supersession clause in the statewide Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law does not preempt the home rule authority vested in municipalities to regulate land use.”
Could Vermont municipal zoning similarly ban telecommunications towers and industrial wind turbines and solar panels? How about a test case possibly establishing a similar legal precedent here?
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