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Wind Turbines Loom over Shelburne as ZBA Holds Hearing

November 13, 2011

Shelburne’s meetings about the proposed Mt Massaemet wind project continue this week with the important ZBA hearing on Thursday November 17th at 7:00 pm in the Memorial Hall Auditorium.

A large meeting space like this is needed if the Planning Board meeting on 11/9/11 is any indicator. According to reporter Diane Broncaccio of the Greenfield Recorder,  60 people attended that meeting. The result: “ ‘I’m very happy to hear there’s going to be a lot more information forthcoming,’ said Planning Board member Beth Simmonds at a Memorial Hall hearing Wednesday. ‘It was very hard to read this [application]. It was so general, it was difficult to formulate questions based on this.’ ”

topo map of Mount Massaemet wind proposed site

map courtesy of Walter Cudnohufsky

While there are far more questions than answers, Shelburne and neighboring towns have been busy investigating the project and the process. The new website has important tools  for citizens. They include relevant sections of the regulations for the Planning Board and the ZBA. Shelburne Wind states, “Any one can attend, testify in person, and/or testify in writing during the Shelburne ZBA hearing process regarding the wind farm.”

The site has the 12-page developer’s application, this topo map with turbine sites and sensitive areas demarcated, and representations  of the size and scale of the project.

The Shelburne Wind site is an amazing collaboration, given what organizer Lamia Holland said about the group’s “members.” “To say we have formed a group may be not quite accurate. There are a number of individuals who are concerned about various aspects of the project, and different things are being done by each of us.”  According to Holland, many people are unaware of the project, are unaware of the decision-making process for the wind farm, and some are supportive of  “green” energy so automatically think it’s a good idea.

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