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Cape Vincent ZBA: Wind moratorium does not affect Rob Shimp’s personal turbine

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CAPE VINCENT — The town Zoning Board of Appeals does not have an issue with Robert A. Shimp’s personal wind turbine permit, according to its chairman.

However, other turbine permit holders who have not made a “substantial investment” in their projects as of yet can consider their permits void.

“When a town is in the process of instituting a moratorium it does have the authority to go back to issued permits and cancel those permits as long as substantial investment in the development has not occurred,” said zoning board Chairman R. Dennis Faulknham, referring to communications between the town and its legal counsel.

In Mr. Shimp’s case, he was granted a permit for the project more than a month ago and has already spent some $25,000 on wind turbine parts.

Mr. Shimp plans to spend another $8,000 to $10,000 to install his 50-foot turbine next to his 31699 County Route 6 home.

Last week, town Supervisor Urban C. Hirschey wrote Mr. Shimp a letter asking him to halt this town-approved project because the Town Council may soon enact a seven-month wind moratorium.

This would put a halt to all wind energy development in Cape Vincent while the town puts together a new wind law.

Cape Vincent plans to vote on the moratorium tonight following a public hearing on the issue at 7 p.m. at the Recreation Park on James Street.

The zoning board Monday night also chose not to take action regarding personal wind permits and “tabled” five applications.

Mr. Faulknham said the zoning board is not denying these permits but wants to wait until new board members are up to speed and a decision is made on the moratorium.

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