Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Ordinance committee meets today, 1:30.


The Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Ordinance committee meets today at the Cape Vincent Recreation Park at 1:30 PM.

At last check, the Town of Cape Vincent Zoning Ordinance committee had reviewed and revised approximately seventy pages of the draft document that they started with. During the process, the committee has listened to local people working on development, business people, county planning, and legal advisors on town governments. 

The zoning ordinance has picked every sentence apart, thrown some out, put some in and have scrutinized every definition. Members of the zoning ordinance committee have sat in on the comprehensive plan committee and have waited on their revisions so they could be sure that they based their zoning law on the direction set by the Cape Vincent Town-Village Comprehensive plan and the 2010 revisions to that plan.

It is my understanding that today the committee will be discussing sound issues. And, of course, the problems with noise created by proposed industrial wind turbines would likely come up in those discussions. 

The scientific documentation of wind turbine noise and health effects as a result of that noise will most likely be an issue with zoning as well.

Regarding recent pressures from a few people who are making a case for a Town Comprehensive Plan and a Zoning Ordinance that singles out and imposes a ban on industrial wind: Assemblymember Addie Russell has joined those of us who have believed all along that, ""I think you are probably better off in your community adopting regulations based on evidence-based research instead of a blanket "NO".

Fortunately, the new members of the Town Board of Cape Vincent did not get caught up in and fall into the industrial wind ban approach and have a history of thinking the same as other legal opinions.  As a result there is no documented history of our town board charging the committees to deliver them a comp plan and a zoning law that would ban wind turbines from our community.

A year ago, before Power NY-Article X was renewed,  a few were putting pressure on our candidates, asking them to declare that they would only support a comp plan and zoning ordinance that banned wind turbines.

A wind turbine ban that didn't work.
Although that pressure is still being applied by the same few, our town board did not use the no wind, no way, ban them approach. Instead they became engrossed in the very evidence-based research that our representative Addie Russell has alluded to and our town council has directed them toward.

The conduct of our new town board members, both during the campaigns and while serving, will work in our favor.  

The Comprehensive Plan Committee and our Zoning Committee are addressing the uniqueness of our town and its orientation to the St. Lawrence River, Seaway Trail, and National Scenic Highway. 

The committees are addressing noise and setbacks. They are addressing our view shed and setbacks that will protect the view shed. They are addressing views from the River and Lake and the islands within the town. All of these considerations will result in the protection of town resident's property value, health issues and lifestyles.

The committees are addressing the issues of the bird and bat endangerment. The concerns that we are in a very important flyway and a habitat for the endangered Indiana bat have been well researched and discussed. 

For many serving on those committees, as well as the wind turbine economic impact committee, their work in protecting our town has nearly become a full time job.

And, as a result of their efforts, our well thought out and research-driven town's laws will stand a better chance in court compared to the legislating of a ban on wind turbines.  A ban would stand a better chance of being overridden in the courts as being overly burdensome to the State's Article X siting board.

And, when it has all been said and the new zoning done, if there is no room for industrial wind turbines in our community, then so be it. British Petroleum and others will have to look elsewhere.



3 comments:

  1. Art Vandelay3/20/12, 6:54 AM

    This whole wind ban thing reminds one of a Seinfeld episode where a clown looks at George Costanza and says, "Your gotta move on, man, your are living in the past."

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  2. Congrats to Cape Vincent for electing a new supervisor and town board. You threw out the corruption at a time the Attorney General and people like Mr. Cahill and others were watching you.

    You are to be commending and it looks like you are going about defending your town against death by industrial wind the right way.

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  3. Spot on. A ban won't work. Personal turbines must not be banned. But they must be regulated best you can. The Ag people say we can have them. The zoning should have good sound advice that smarter people can use to not get into trouble with them

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