Devlin Warns Bylaw Change Inadequate
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.