Hanover Board votes down wind turbine height resolution

Unanimous no

OBSERVER Photo by Jo Ward Hanover Town Hall was packed Monday evening as people on both sides of the Ball Hill Wind Project argument awaited the long anticipated vote.

HANOVER — People from Fredonia to Forestville to Sinclairville filled the court room in Hanover Town Hall Monday evening as citizens awaited the long anticipated vote on the wind turbine heights.

“The manufacturer of the turbines (that are) supposed to be used in this project, has recommended that those workmen who are working on these machines, should maintain a safety clearance of over 1,300-feet, should there be a turbine malfunction. Yet we have town ordinances that call for turbines being placed only a 1,000-feet from homes,” Dr. Mark Twitchell of Fredonia stated.

“RES’ noise assessment fails to address the biggest reason for complaints, that is low frequency noise, vibrations and amplitude modulation. To me, that seems grossly negligent,” Joni Riggle, of Sinclairville said. “All these impacts have to be measured, it’s a glaring omission.”

“Folks are watching the neighboring townships, just how things are going here, people around the country, in some of these areas that want to be developed are finding out this isn’t the sweet cookie deal that it all sounds,” Bill Moran, of Pomfret added.

Susan Baldwin, of Villenova, mentioned the impact on homeowners’ insurance turbines have.Diane Clarke, of Portland, cited in her opinion, the lack of consideration being made to wildlife and the ecosystem by the turbines, as well as their foundations and powerlines. John Robinson, of Forestville, worried over the no trespass zones and wasted frontage that’ll be added to the area due to the turbines requiring more clearance should one fail or fall.

After the public spoke, the resolution came down the line for a final vote that would adopt local laws increasing the maximum height and required setbacks for the turbines, amending the wind overlay district in the town and granting Ball Hill’s application for modification of its special use permit.

The motion was given, seconded, and all four councilpersons and the town supervisor all voted no.

The result of this vote means that the wind turbines in the town of Villenova will stand at a maximum height of 599-feet whereas the turbines in the town of Hanover will remain at a maximum of 495-feet. This vote also means that, as it stands, the additional substation and the overhead lines will remain as well.

Mark Lyons, RES project manager, stated that he’s still eyeing the long-term goals of the project and said that RES, a 150-year old, family-owned company, embraces innovation and change and like them, he wants the project to succeed and the communities to benefit. He wants to reiterate that the project is moving forward, just now with two different height maximums.

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