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Italy will adopt industrial wind turbine ban

PENN YAN—Yates County Planning Board heard a strong message from the town of Italy during their April 22 meeting. The town does not want any industrial wind turbines in Italy.
Town attorney Ed Brockman outlined the history of the issue stating there have been several moratoriums during more than five years since wind farms were first proposed to be constructed in the town. This allowed the town time to study the matter and to include it in their comprehensive plan. Originally, the comprehensive plan included permitting wind farms in certain areas of the town known as wind incentive zones. The zones were designed to allow the town board to review applications for wind farms based on the benefits and amenities offered to overcome the detrimental effects of the turbines.
Brockman said a public hearing was held last year that was attended by more than 100 residents and speakers during the meeting opposed wind farms five to one. It was felt that present technology did not offer enough benefits to offset problems such as noise, visual impact and perceived negative effects on property values.
Residents of Cohocton in Steuben County, where there is an operating wind farm, testified they cannot live in their homes due to noise and shadow flicker from the turbines. In January, Italy reviewed the comprehensive plan and in February the town began the process to amend the plan to prohibit wind farms.
Italy Supervisor Brad Jones also addressed the planning board. He said, “This is the will of the people. Under no circumstances will the people of this town allow wind farms. The developer never changed their proposal and did not take environmental issues into account.” Jones said legal fees for the town to date have been over $100,000.
Brockman told planners, “I never saw a community put in so much time, effort and treasure into an issue.”

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