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Town of Spafford revises wind law

After controversy arose in the town of Spafford over the proposed wind turbine regulations, the town has revised the proposed law and scheduled another public hearing.

Over 50 residents attended the first public hearing, making known there concerns about the possibility of large wind turbines affecting the town's scenery, noise levels and quality of life.

Many residents spoke out against the turbines, fearing that passing a law allowing smaller turbines would open the door for commercial wind farms to create facilities in the town. The vagueness of the law, they said, did not limit the turbine's height or power output.

The town responded by correcting some vague language and missing regulations and issuing copies of the new proposed law available at the town offices or at the town's website www.townofspafford.com.

Added to the law were the following regulations:

1. "No more than one wind energy conversion system shall be permitted on a particular parcel, subject to the application and approval requirements set forth below."

2. The word substations (implying a commercial operation) was removed and the wording changed to "all cables and power transmission lines from the WECS electricity generation facilities shall be underground."

3. "The total height of a WECS shall not exceed 60 feet.

The next public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14 after the 7 p.m. town meeting. The Citizens to Preserve the Character of Skaneateles will also be hosting a seminar on wind power to be held at the Skaneateles Community Center in the Party Room 7 p.m Aug. 11 (see sidebar for details).

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