With Black Oak Wind Farm’s latest proposal including a turbine in Newfield, the town will hold a public hearing March 24 at 7 p.m. regarding the operation of wind energy facilities. The hearing will give residents an opportunity to weigh in on Newfield’s proposed Local Law #2, which would place a moratorium on the permitting, construction and operation of wind energy facilities for a period of 90 days.
There has been an ongoing conversation at recent meetings of the Newfield Town Council regarding the wind energy law; the proposed Black Oak Wind Farm in neighboring Enfield has prompted residents of Newfield to raise concerns about the possibility of the farm proposing a wind turbine site in their town.
Then at a meeting of the Enfield Town Council March 9, the Enfield board accepted a revised Black Oak proposal as complete, which means it is now open for public comment for 30 days, during which time the town will hold a public hearing, according to Thomas Smith, Newfield town attorney. The new proposal includes one potential site within the town of Newfield, off Cayutaville Road.
“It looks as though [Black Oak is] abandoning two turbines and proposing two new locations for turbines. There are three possible sites for those two turbines, one of which is in Newfield and two in Enfield,” explained Smith.
The town’s current setback requirements and noise level limits have been particularly troublesome for some residents.
Currently, Newfield’s local law permits noise from turbines that does not exceed 55 decibels above the ambient sound levels measured at the nearest off-site residence. Setbacks must be 750 feet or 1.5 times the total height, whichever is greater, from the edge of the closest residence, unless the property owner of the residence has consented otherwise.
The Town of Newfield Town Council passed its original Wind Energy Facilities Law at its meeting on May 14, 2009. “After hearing comments from the public about setbacks and noise, our current law may not be able to protect the neighbors of those windmills,” said Christine Laughlin, Newfield Town Council member. “And there’s one that may be placed in Newfield. There has not been one submitted for permit yet, but we’re trying to be proactive and prepared, to have all our ducks in a row.”
The local law is available for review at the Town Clerk’s Office, and at the time and place of such public hearing the Town Board will take statements, testimony, and evidence from all persons interested in the subject hereof and concerning the same, and the Town Board may or will take such other action thereupon as is required or permitted by law. All residents of the Town and the general public are invited to attend this public hearing.
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