Jerusalem adopts wind farm law
BRANCHPORT—Jerusalem has approved a local law regulating wind farm development in the town. The legislation was approved during the town board meeting on Wednesday, March 21.
The purpose of the law is to deal with the construction and operation of facilities that convert wind energy to electricity. The legislation establishes a wind farm overlay zone and standards to reduce any negative environmental impacts that could stem from the construction and operation of these amenities.
The town board originally agreed to send the regulations to the Yates County Planning Board last December. The county board agreed to approve the law, but also suggested the town make some modifications to the legislation that was originally proposed. One suggested change was to require applicants constructing wind energy facilities to notify all property owners of land adjacent to the proposed site. The planning board asked for applicants to distribute notifications to owners of land within two miles of the construction.
The county also recommended that Jerusalem establish a stricter inspection process. Rather than having only an inspection once construction is finished as the law originally stated, the planning board asked the town to establish additional inspections throughout the course of the development. The final change that was suggested involved providing more detail regarding tax benefits for developers.
The wind farm regulation approved during Wednesday’s meeting included the amendments as recommended by the county planning board. Attorney Phil Bailey applied the changes prior to the voting.
In other business:
• The board adopted a local law to change the date of Grievance Day this year to May 24. The date had been previously set for May 22, but since Assessor Vernon Brand also holds jobs in two towns outside of Yates County, he would not be available that day to hear complaints from residents regarding tax assessments.
• Clerk Sheila McMichael said the town is planning to help with the renovation of the former elementary school building in Branchport that will become part of the Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum. The school facility is expected to be turned into a Finger Lakes research and cultural center.
The next regular meeting will be on Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. at the Jerusalem town hall.