Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cape Planning Board should reject site plan

It would be a great courtesy, at the very least, to the community of Cape Vincent and beyond if the Planning Board chairman would clarify some comments from the Oct. 13 meeting at the special meeting on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the recreation hall in Cape Vincent.

The meeting is to prepare to accept the Site Plan Review Application from Acciona for their wind project. Once the permit is submitted the Planing Board must be finished with site plan review within 124 days.

The Planning Board said on Oct. 13 that:

There will be two public hearings to site 51 turbines and miles of access roads and transmission lines.

The only people allowed to speak will be people living within 1/2 mile of the project.

A person from Tibbetts Point Lighthouse area would not be allowed to comment.

Setbacks can be based on 11/2 times the height of the turbine.

Noise complaint policy will be the only method of protecting the community from unexpected noise.

A committee will be formed (no naysayers allowed) to decide on setbacks and a noise complaint policy.

The process will be guaranteed done in six months.

Cape Vincent has no agreement of any kind on setbacks, no agreed-on ambient background sound levels and no discussion of noise complaint policy in place of a scientifically established ambient sound level. The Planning Board has refused to read the Economic Wind Report commissioned by the supervisor dealing with property values. It is reckless and irresponsible to enter Site Plan Review, a legally timed process, without first coming to some consensus on setbacks and ambient sound levels.

Cape Vincent needs to have an ambient sound study done by Cavenaugh and Tocci as voted for by the Planning Board and unconflicted members of the town board. A committee of all different sides needs to use that study to come up with setbacks based on science. The committee's recommendations should go to a public vote.

It is not democratically nor morally correct to go into Site Plan Review at this time. I hope that you will use the meeting on the 27th to clarify what the Site Plan Review process is, why public comment will be censored, what the responsibilities and character of the proposed committee are, what sort of setbacks the board is already considering.

I also trust you will not accept the application from Acciona.

Hester Chase

Cape Vincent

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