To the members of the Philipstown ZBA and any other interested parties:
I would like to commend the ZBA for the time it is taking in reviewing the application for the wind turbine that is currently before it. I would however like to say that I don’t see how they have any choice but to deny the application and request that the town board review the code with regard to wind turbines. At the end of the last public meeting the ZBA indicated that they were going to propose a moratorium on future wind turbine requests until the zoning board could review the issue of wind turbines as they have learned that it is a complex issue not addressed adequately in the current code.
This was once again a commendable action, however they did not go so far as to say that the current application should be denied until the zoning board or town board reviews the issue of wind turbines. This makes no sense. I understand that the ZBA probably finds itself under a great deal of pressure, since it is almost a year now since the initial application for a variance was filed, but if they believe this to be a complex issue that has to be pushed back to the town boards for serious review then they cannot not allow an exception just because they feel the applicant has been caused unusual delay. After all, what is right is not always the easy way. If they feel the issue warrants further study for future turbines then the present application should be treated in the same way.
The town has a well thought out noise code. It is written in a way that shows consideration for people living in Philipstown. It not only sets out specific acceptable decibel levels of sound, as pointed out by the ZBA in its last meeting, of 50db during the day and 40db during the night but also goes on to say:
(2)(C) sound in excess of five decibels above the ambient noise at the point on the boundary of the lot where measured is a violation.
(3) sounds emitted at levels lower than those prohibited by subsection (C)(2) shall not be permitted if, because of the noise emitted, such sounds are offensive, disruptive, or in continual disharmony with the character of an adjoining or nearby residential neighborhood.
My property adjoins the proposed turbine and the noise levels created by the turbine will clearly violate these last two provisions of the code. I think the ZBA has no alternative but to deny the application and save the applicant the trouble of having to dismantle it at a future date because it will never be able to stay within the criteria of the noise code.
I would also like to say that I thought that Richard Shea should not have gone on record in the press stating his opinion that if this application was not approved then future wind turbines in Philipstown would not be approved. I feel that as a public servant he has an obligation to let the ZBA do their job and not use the press to attempt to influence their decision. He has every right to his opinion but he also has an obligation, given his position, to exercise discipline and self control.