R'ville to revisit wind setbacks?


By Patsy Nicosia

After another heated meeting on wind, the Town of Richmondville is asking its Setback Committee to revisit its April 2008 recommendations.
Though the town accepted the recommendations, which called for siting wind turbines at least 1,500 feet from roads and property lines, last October, they were never put into law and in fact, Richmondville still has no wind law.
Last Tuesday, the town met with the Planning Board to review the wind ordinance and it was Chairman Harold Loder’s suggestion that the Setback Committee be reinstated.
That suggestion was touched on at Thursday’s town board meeting, even as Schoharie Valley Watch co-director
Bob Nied continued to question the need for any wind law at all.
“Three years ago, we had zoning,” Mr. Nied said. “Fast-forward three years. We still have zoning,” that prohibits things like industrial wind towers.
“There is no reason for you to circumvent the existing zoning [except] to accommodate an out-of-state developer.”
With zoning, Mr. Nied argued, there’s need for a wind law.
“It’s a false crisis,” he said.
Fellow SVW co-director Don Airey said the town needs to stick with the 1,500 setback the committee recommended—especially in light of a turbine that toppled in Clinton County March 6.
The debris, he said, extended 1,300 feet from the turbine.
“And we’re talking about a setback of 1,500,” he said, urging the town not to change the Setback Committee’s original numbers.
After the meeting Mr. Loder said he feels there are enough questions to ask the committee to take another look at its work.
Mr. Loder said the 1,500 foot setback recommendations weren’t included in the paperwork the Planning Board reviewed with the town last Tuesday and he doesn’t feel it should be up to the Planning Board to determine what the figure should be.
“I don’t feel it’s the Planning Board’s job,” he said. “I don’t want this being political. Our job is to do what the town asks with the regulations they give us. Let’s give them another chance.”