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Yates approves moratorium on wind farms

PENN YAN—Yates County planning board approved a proposal from the town of Italy to establish a moratorium on the submission and processing of applications for and construction of industrial wind turbines in the town. The issue of wind farms in the town has been on the table in Italy for several years and while the town has imposed moratoriums in the past, this new proposed moratorium is connected to issues with some things in a law passed previously.
Current town supervisor Margaret Dunn told board members the moratorium will give the town the opportunity to review the law and get feedback from residents. Dunn said the current law on the books could be tweaked or possibly repealed, emphasizing a decision has not been made. After it was clarified the proposed moratorium was not an extension of earlier moratorium, board member Charles Mitchell said, “We have always cautioned towns when they come to us. Italy is well aware of the law.”
Decision on a site plan for harbor View Town Homes, LLC in Jerusalem was tabled until a full environmental review is received. Board members had questions about utilities and septic as well as a structure identified as a clubhouse proposed for the site. The board also recommended the applicant address all concerns about the project from Yates County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Following consideration of other referrals from private individuals there was a discussion of wind farms. Board member Dave Christiansen said he had visited wind farms in the town of Fenner. While there he asked several individuals for their opinions on the turbines and said no one he spoke to disliked them. He said he was told that property values had gone up in the area with some noting the positive impact on taxes as a plus. Board member Judy Wiltberger commented she thinks it is wise to look carefully at all sides of the issue.
The board again urged applicants whose projects have been referred to the county board to attend the meeting when their project will be considered. The next meeting of the Yates County Planning Board will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in the closing room in the county office building. The date has been changed from the fourth Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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