Cortlandville Planners Suggest Town Wind Law Needs Extensive Revision
The Town Cortlandville planning board is suggesting that the Town Board should scrap a proposed ordinance to regulate wind turbines and start over.
For the past year and a half town leaders have been working on regulations for both residential and commercial wind turbines. The push for a local wind tower ordinance comes as an International Company T-C–I Renewables looks to put as many as 50 500 foot tall commercial turbines on property in Cortlandville, Homer, Truxton, and Solon. The proposal has prompted several communities to develop restrictions for the towers.
Cortlandville Town Board members and Town Attorney John Folmer worked with engineering firm Clough Harbor to draft a local wind law.
The law as proposed requires the developers of wind towers to receive a special permit from the Town Board and limits commercial wind towers to a height of 500 feet, the setbacks for industrial towers would be over 13 hundred feet for all off site homes and structures. The industrial towers must be 12 hundred feet from an onsite homes.
For residential turbines, the proposed setback is 1 and half the times of the tower height.
The planning board was tasked with reviewing the local law and making recommendations, several board members including Chair Kathy Wickwire say the law is woefully inadequate. Wickwire feels the towers should be banned outright; at the very least the setback restrictions should be much greater.
Board member John Finnamore said the setbacks should be based on tower height.
The law requires wind developers demonstrate that the towers will not interfere with any communication equipment, which includes emergency communications, cell towers and residential TV antennas.
Noise from the towers cannot exceed 40 decibels when measured from the nearest residential structure.
The developers must demonstrate the visual impact of the towers, and must show any shadow or flicker effect from the towers.
Planning Board member Chris Newell says these towers if approved would be a negative impact on the community.
The Town Board will now review the planner’s recommendations and may make changes before sending the ordinance to the public for review and comment.