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Wind Advisory Board approves wind overlay zone

HOPKINTON – The Hopkinton Wind Advisory Board approved a wind overlay zone nearly identical to one proposed in 2011 during a public hearing Wednesday night.

The wind overlay zone will not expand to south of State Route 72, or spill over into the Adirondack Park boundary, like Avangrid Renewables, the company proposing the North Ridge Wind Farm, had requested.

According to Jody Wentzel, vice chairman of the Hopkinton Wind Advisory Board, the decision was made not to expand the overlay zone to keep the wind towers away from the Adirondack Park boundary.

After the decision was made, the majority of the crowd of more than 100 attendees erupted into applause.

Avangrid Renewables is still in the early stages of development and is hoping to install up to 40 wind turbines as many as 500 feet tall within the next few years.

Sandra R. Maine, Parishville, said she doesn’t trust the wind company.

“Forty (towers) will turn into 80, which will turn into 120, and then 200,” she said. “We will be the pin cushion of Northern New York.”

Ms. Maine urged the leaseholders to reject them.

“You have been swindled,” she said. “We want you to reject your leases and stop this horrible thing that’s about to happen.”

During the public hearing, Pat Walzer, Hopkinton, said she’s against the North Ridge Wind Farm project because the turbines negatively impact the surroundings and wildlife.

“I moved to this beautiful area decades ago,” she said. “We do have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but that doesn’t mean we have a right to harm the environment.”

Amanda L. Potter, Hopkinton, one of the few speakers who said they were in favor of the project, said she is one of the leaseholders who has signed a contract with Avangrid Renewables.

“The towns of Parishville and Hopkinton are awesome to embrace wind power,” she said. “We are in a wind zone that can make clean power.”

The approved wind overlay zone map will now have to be approved by the Hopkinton Town Board. The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 15 in the Hopkinton Municipal Building, 7 Church St.