Thursday, August 11, 2011

Town of Litchfield, NY limits industrial wind development by denial of road use

A Utica Observer-Dispatch report explains how recent New York State Article X legislation might affect the town of Litchfield, NY. Litchfield is presently considering an addendum to their zoning which defines setbacks, and road use restriction which will make it difficult, if not impossible, for industrial wind developers to take over their town.

In Litchfield, Albany-based NorthWind and Power’s plan is to build a 20-megawatt wind farm with eight to 12 turbines on Dry Hill.

That project is smaller than the 25-megawatt limit, so in its current form it would fall under local control even after Article X goes into effect.

But if that project expands or another larger project is proposed, the town addressed Article X in its proposed wind law by declaring town roads can’t be crossed or licensed for use to permit for such a project.

“It’s to make it clear that to the extent the town has power as it relates to their own roads, the town is not by default releasing that,” said Daniel Spitzer, a Buffalo-based attorney who drafted the law for Litchfield.

If Article X had been in effect, the 37-turbine, 74-megawatt Hardscrabble Wind Farm that began operating this year in the Herkimer County towns of Fairfield and Norway would have been determined by the state board.

Fairfield town Supervisor Richard Souza said he wants to further review the law to see whether he thinks it would be helpful or hurtful for other communities where a project is proposed.

No comments: