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Farmersville to conduct public hearings tonight on wind, water conservation laws

FARMERSVILLE – The Farmersville Town Board will conduct public hearings on two local laws tonight at 7 o’clock, including a 2020 Wind Energy Facilities Local Law.

The 56-page local law was introduced at an emergency meeting last Monday after the town board voted 3-2 to void the town’s 2019 wind law, which included a 600-foot wind turbine tip height and 1.3 times tip height, or 900 feet to a property line.

The other local law introduced last Monday, the Drinking Water and Conservation Area Protection Law, will also be the subject of a public hearing tonight.

The 2020 Farmersville Wind Law introduced last week calls for a 455-foot blade tip height limit and a 3,000-foot distance to a property line, 2,000 feet from a road, and a mile from churches and other houses of worship.

A sound level of 45 dBA at the outside of a habitable building and 42 dBA at the property line.

Related infrastructure including access roads, electrical lines and accessory structures would have to be located 2,000 feet from a residence or property line.

Farmersville United President William A. Snyder filed suit against the Farmersville Town Board last week seeking to void the 2019 Wind Law which they allege was improperly approved in August.

The Water and Conservation Area Protection Law would limit excavation and blasting within 1,000 feet of a water well or conservation area. Blasting would require a $1 million letter of credit and $15,000 blast permit fee.

Farmersville Supervisor Francis “Pete” Lounsbury said he does not plan on holding a vote on the new wind law tonight.

“I don’t intend to bring it to a vote (tonight),” Lounsbury said. “We haven’t finished environmental assessments. We need to schedule a couple of work sessions to talk about the environmental assessment forms.”

Three opponents to the proposed 340-megawatt Alle-Catt Wind Farm were elected to the Farmersville Town Board in November: Lounsbury; Deputy Supervisor Mark Heberling and Donna Vickman.

The proposed wind law also calls for the applicant to guarantee there will be no loss in real property value within 2 miles of a wind turbine and for limits on shadow flicker or blade glint. Flicker would be limited to one hour a month and eight hours a year.

A bond of up to $225,000 would be required to pay for decommissioning each turbine.

The Freedom Town Board has scheduled a public hearing on a nearly identical local wind law for 7 o’clock tonight.

A state Supreme Court judge overturned the 2018 Freedom Wind Law in December for not following environmental and Open Meetings laws.

With both towns’ wind laws under challenge, their previous wind laws with a 450-foot height limit remain in effect. The Freedom law has been appealed to the Apellate Division, Fourth Department in state Supreme Court.