Despite objections from the developers of a planned industrial wind farm, the Cortlandville Town Board has adopted a wind ordinance with more restrictive set back requirements than were initially proposed.
The Cortlandville Town board unanimously adopted the new wind power regulations last night, the Town has been debating the law for two years now; a moratorium on wind towers has been in place during that time.
Initially the town called for a tower set back of 2 thousand feet from roads and 750 feet from structures, now the setback requirement as is 3 thousand feet or roughly five times the height of the tower.
The law also includes requirements to protect land values of property owners that are not participating in a wind energy project as well pay for any health related costs the landowner incurs as a result of the wind turbine. There is also a provision requiring the wind developer to pay for the landowners housing costs if they can’t stay in their home due to impacts from the turbines, the company would be required to purchase the effected landowners property.
The new law also restricts noise levels from wind towers.
The law would prohibit towers from being built within 3200 feet of the Village of McGraw and City of Cortland boundaries.
The amended rules also call for wind developers to carry large insurance policies in the event that problems arise and call for the company to set funds aside to decommission and remove the towers in the future.
Representatives of T-C-I Renewables who are looking to put up 44, 500 foot tall wind towers here in Cortland County said they were disappointed with the boards overly restrictive set-back requirements. Representatives have said they want to work with the towns to come up with a setback that works for the town and project.
T-C-I has indicated that if local regulations are too strict they may appeal to the state to cite the towers under a less stringent set of rules referred to as article 10. The process would basically by-pass local planning and zoning rules.
Town Supervisor Dick Tupper says the town he feels good about the new wind regulations, they will help protect residents from the adverse impacts associated with wind towers. Tupper says he was sent the local law to the Towns of Solon, Homer, and Truxton to use as they consider local wind regulations.
The temporary ban on wind towers will continue until the law is accepted by the state.