September 22, 2017
Letters, New York

Contact local officials to stengthen land use plan

Opinion: Contact local officials to stengthen land use plan, says Parishville resident | North Country Now | September 21, 2017 |

There are reasons wind developers in NY are unwilling to reveal the specifications for turbines they intend to use – – even while engaging (or pretending to engage) local communities in discussions about their projects and attempting (pretending) to reach stipulation agreements with local stakeholders.

The main reason? Developers know the turbines being constructed over the next several years will be considerably larger than the turbines we are currently familiar with. They would prefer that affected communities not dwell on that fact, or even be aware of it at this point. It is obvious that a 600’+ turbine, as opposed to a typical 380 foot turbine, will have a much more pronounced visual impact and a much greater noise output. No need to get the folks even more upset by talking about such things.

It is an accepted fact that the current generation of turbines in use will no longer be manufactured or available. Next generation turbines are already past the design stage and are considerably larger. The question is, how much larger? Developers know the turbines actually being constructed are much more likely to be larger in size and output capacity, but they are not going to share that information with the towns they have singled out as “easy targets.”

Officials involved in considering/adopting local ordinances need to take this reality into account as well. They must establish regulations stating if the developer changes the proposed height and capacity of the turbines to a larger size, then they must be required to conduct impact studies based on the new models. That is also why your laws need to state a measurement setback as well as a setback in relation to the total height of the turbine, whichever is greater. Act now and you will have a much better chance of passing a stronger local law!

I urge all residents of neighboring communities to begin speaking with your town officials immediately. Respectfully request that they take steps to strengthen and/or create a comprehensive land use and development plan to protect you and your families from the negative impacts of an industrial project of any type. Learn from events unfolding in Hopkinton and Parishville.

Take proactive measures to prevent your town from becoming the next “target” of Iberdrola or another equally callous, multi-billion dollar company. They haven’t come to help us; they’ve come to destroy our communities in the name of corporate profits.

Lori Witherell


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