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Lewis County Planning Board approves three met towers in Harrisburg

LOWVILLE – The Lewis County Planning Board on Thursday signed off on three meteorological towers in the town of Harrisburg affiliated with two separate wind projects.

First up was a permanent 315-foot-tall tower proposed at 8961 Number Three Road as part of the planned Copenhagen Wind Farm.

The tower is to be used for “validating the wind source and other attributes of the operating wind farm,” Lewis County Director of Planning Frank J. Pace said in his review.

Mr. Pace noted that the proposed tower site is only 74 feet from an adjacent property, while the setback is to be at least equal to the height of the tower. So board members recommended that the town require either a variance or that the site be moved to allow for an adequate setback. They also made several other recommendations, including that the developer clarify power source, parking, lighting, landscaping or fencing, if applicable.

The Copenhagen Wind Farm, being developed by EDF Renewables, San Diego, Calif., with local partner Jerry B. Wichelns, is to feature 40 turbines, 2 megawatts each, in the town of Denmark and an overhead power line running through the towns of Champion and Rutland. The met tower would be located at its southern edge, just across the Denmark-Harrisburg town border.

While developers had hoped to start work on the project this fall and have it up and running by late 2017, National Grid officials have notified them that the earliest interconnection to the power grid would be in mid-2018.

County Planning Board members also approved a pair of temporary 195.85-foot-tall towers on Sears Pond Road and Mile Square Road proposed by Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables, for the proposed Deer River Wind Farm; that project is to include up to 40 turbines in the towns of Pinckney, Harrisburg and Montague.

All three met towers will need to receive final approval from the Harrisburg town Planning Board.

The board also approved plans by Ronald and Cindy Shue to construct two additional self-storage units at Shue Box Storage, 3256 Route 12 in the town of Leyden, and Moncrief Land Surveying to convert 1,200 square feet of a 3,404-square-foot, two-family residence at 7675 N. State St. in the village of Lowville into office space.

For the former, the board recommended that clarification be provided for items like parking, lighting and landscaping, if applicable.

And for the latter, it recommended that a parking variance be sought, as plans are for only seven spaces, while 14 would technically be required under village zoning law. Mr. Pace initially suggested non-approval until a variance is granted, but board members decided to instead give approval with that recommendation so as not to hold up such a relatively simple project.