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Settlement allows Clayton wind power project to move forward

A wind power project will move forward in the town of Clayton.

Under a settlement that ends a lawsuit filed by Atlantic Wind, LLC, the town won’t be able to renew a moratorium it placed on wind power development when it expires later this month.

Atlantic Wind asked permission to place towers that would measure wind speed and consistency in preparation for building windmill towers.

The town placed a six-month moratorium on all wind power development and the wind power company filed what’s known as an Article 78 proceeding in state Supreme Court.

To end the suit, the town agreed not to renew the moratorium beyond October 27, when it’s due to expire. The town also agreed to have its planning board decide on Atlantic Wind’s permits when it meets November 3.

Under the agreement, the town council will review the permits based on zoning laws that were in place when they were first submitted. The town is currently considering a local law that would limit the height of towers and regulate noise and other environmental impacts.

For its part, the wind power company agreed not to proceed with the Article 10 process before March.

Town Supervisor Dave Storandt said the agreement gives the town time to figure out its comprehensive plan for wind power projects.

Article 10 is a proceeding that allows a wind farm developer to bypass local regulations and get approval through the state instead.