Dear SOS Website Newsletter Recipients,
It has come to the attention of SOS from more than one source that some Yates Town Board members believe that they are compelled to approve the application for a Wind Measurement Tower (MET) that was the subject of a recent Yates town public hearing. The public hearing was attended by approximately 70 people. About 15 people spoke against the application, and no one spoke in favor of it. Given the strong, clear opposition to the Wind Measurement Tower, we wonder why the Town Board would do anything but deny the application. The fact that they were required to hold a public hearing about the application indicates that they in fact have authority to decide whether to approve or deny it.
The “findings” at the beginning of the Town of Yates law on Wind Energy Facilities give multiple reasons to deny the current siting of the Lighthouse Wind project, including the application for the Wind Measurement Tower. Wind Measurement Towers are to apply for a permit under the Special Use law. This law normally gives the Town Planning Board the authority to make a written decision to grant or deny the application but in the case of Wind Measurement Towers the authority is vested in the Town Board.
Given the findings in the Town of Yates Local Law Governing Wind Energy Facilities and given the documents, information, articles, and testimony provided by town residents at the hearing regarding the application for the MET Tower as well as prior Town Board meetings in 2015 that have covered issues regarding The Lighthouse wind project, the Yates Town Board has more than sufficient evidence to justify denial of the MET Tower application.
If you are a resident of the Town of Yates please consider contacting your local town board members and inform them that they have the authority to make a decision regarding the MET application, that they listen to the town residents, and make a decision to deny the Wind Measurement Tower application. Contact information for Yates Board members can be found on the Act Now section of the website.
Below are excerpts from several local laws and regulations. Underlines and bolding text is added for clarity and emphasis and are not part of the original documents. Words in italics are paraphrases of the listed sections.
Local Law No. 1 of 2008 Governing Wind Energy Facilities in the Town of Yates pages 2-3
Town Board of the Town of Yates makes 10 findings some of which are listed below:
Section 591.3 Findings
3. Regulation of the siting and installation of wind turbines is necessary for the purpose of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of neighboring property owners and the general public.
4. Wind energy Facilities represent significant potential aesthetic impacts because of their large size, lighting and shadow flicker effects.
6. Wind energy facilities may present a risk to bird and bat populations if not properly sited.
7. If not properly sited, wind energy facilities may present risks to the property values of adjoining property owners.
8. Wind energy facilities can be a significant source of noise, which if unregulated, can negatively impact adjoining properties.
9. Construction of Wind energy facilities can create traffic problems and damage local roads.
10. Wind energy facilities can cause electromagnetic interference issues with various types of communication.
Section 591.20 Wind Site Assessment
This section states that the installation of Wind Measurement Towers shall be handled as Special Use in Agricultural/Residential Districts and the Industrial District.
Section 591.22 Standards for Wind Measurement Towers
This section gives some requirements and options. This section also gives the Town Board authority to issue permits for up to two years.
Zoning Regulations of the Town of Yates
Article IX Special Use Permits and Procedures
Section 902 Procedure (page 178)
This is the section that discusses the need for a public hearing and requirement that notice of the hearing be published. The two listed sub-sections E. and F. give the decision making body (Town Board in the case of the MET Tower or in other cases the Planning Board) the clear authority to make a decision to approve or deny the application:
E. The Town Planning Board shall make a record of all its proceedings involving the granting of a Special Permit. The decisions of the Planning Board shall contain the reasons for its decision.
F. The Town Planning Board shall render its decision, either approving, approving with conditions, or denying, within 62 days after the hearing, unless an extension is mutually agreed upon.
Section 903 Findings (page 179-180)
B. The Town Planning Board may grant a special use permit for uses described in Article VII provided that all requirements and conditions set forth in that Article are complied with.
C. The Planning Board shall make written findings for each special use permit decision. Findings shall state the reasoning behind, the basis for, and the evidence relied upon to reach the decision. Compliance with the requirements or Article VII shall be substantiated.
D. The following considerations shall apply to all special use permit applications:
9. General compatibility with adjacent properties and other properties in the district
WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
A word on letter/note/memo writing: The SOS website ( www.lakeontarioturbines.com ) includes a section on writing. Topics and addressees are included, so please take a few minutes to drop a note to our representative and media outlets on your opposition to this project. In addition, it is critical to also send your opposition communication in the comments section of the NYSDPS Siting Board Website:
We need to have hundreds of comments with clearly stated reasons for opposition posted as the Siting Board is required by law to review every comment made. Your comments and any evidence you cite make a difference!!!!
Upcoming Informational Meetings:
April 22nd – I’ll be debating Dan Fitzgerald of APEX at GCC – Medina. Bring lots of questions. Times will be announced soon.
April 29th 7p.m. Barker Fire Hall 1660 Quaker Road. Great Lakes Wind Truth will be presenting on their experiences successfully fighting numerous Industrial Wind Turbine Emplacement Projects in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. If you can attend, please do as there is much to learn from these folks.
The TAKE ACTION NOW page on our web site is a step by step guide to help you participate in our fight against the installation of industrial wind turbines in our community!
For the very latest news, please check our Facebook page:
Save Ontario Shores Facebook