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Devlin Warns Bylaw Change Inadequate

December 26, 2012

The limits and loopholes of a proposed town bylaw prompted Curt Devlin’s letter “Your View: Proposed turbine law remains far too little,” published in South Coast Today(12/26/12):

Far from offering residents any real protection, this latest proposal will have the likely outcome of inviting smaller turbines, in larger numbers, that can still be legally sited in very close proximity to residents. Current zoning bylaws in Fairhaven permit siting turbines in every type of zone as a so-called municipal project. There is currently no legal restriction that would prevent private property owners from siting an industrial wind turbine in the midst of any neighborhood in town. Nothing in the new proposal will change this cozy little arrangement appreciably.

What is at stake for Fairhaven–and any other community considering siting bylaws–is the impact to families and ultimately to the community:

One of the existing 400-foot turbines is just 1,600 feet from one family home. That’s four times the height — exactly what [planners] are proposing. At that distance, one member of the family was so badly affected that he moved out to escape the torment. The turbines are literally tearing this family apart. Add another turbine refugee to the list.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marie Jane permalink
    December 29, 2012 2:25 pm

    Great Curt Devlin article.

    You know what they say, “Never trust a man (or woman) who does not want to hear anything about decibels.” The reason, of course, is because that man is not following Massachusetts General Laws and is not making careful studies of the needs of the town, particularly with respect to conditions injurious to the public health, and, therefore, is not working in the best interest of the town or of the people. He, they, Roth and Hayward should voluntarily step down for not diligently performing their duties or be removed from their positions at town meeting for the same reason. Or, simply, abolish the Planning Board for all the good they have done.

    Chapter 41, Section 70. Every city and every town having a population of more than ten thousand at the last preceding national census shall, and towns having a population of less than ten thousand may, create a planning board, which shall make careful studies of the resources, possibilities and needs of the town, particularly with respect to conditions injurious to the public health or otherwise in and about rented dwellings, and make plans for the development of the municipality, with special reference to proper housing of its inhabitants. In cities the said board shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to confirmation by the council, and in towns shall be elected at the annual town meeting or be appointed in such manner as an annual town meeting may determine.

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