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Cape Vincent’s Planning Board mulls termination of BP wind application


CAPE VINCENT — The town’s Planning Board decided to give more thought to whether terminating BP’s wind farm application at the Town Council’s request is a good idea.

At a regular meeting Wednesday night, board Chairman Richard H. Macsherry said the Planning Board will wait until Cape Vincent’s wind moratorium expires Sept. 7 and vote on the issue at its next monthly meeting.

“We’re not going to touch this until the moratorium has ended,” Mr. Macsherry said. “The objections are duly noted and we’ll just see what happens on the 12th of September.”

After adopting changes to its zoning law, which added strict restrictions on wind turbines, town board members unanimously decided at an Aug. 1 special meeting to ask the Planning Board to discard BP Wind Energy’s application, mainly because of inactivity.

But some Cape Vincent residents do not believe terminating the local application is in the town’s best interest.

“If we terminate British Petroleum’s application, we give them no option whatsoever except to apply through New York State Article X. And our zoning law is going to be ripped apart, manipulated and however interpreted by New York state,” said David LaMora. “I just don’t understand why anybody in this community would want to do that.”

Article X of the 2011 Power NY Act generally imposes a 12-month deadline for the approval of the construction and operation of major electric-generating facilities of 25 megawatts or higher.

BP has already confirmed it hopes to bypass strict local restrictions proposed for wind turbines and expedite the approval of its Cape Vincent Wind Farm project, which “can reach upwards of approximately 285 megawatts in size,” by seeking an Article X process.

When BP submits its application to the Article X siting board, Mr. LaMora said, the town should denounce the state law.

“Tell the state, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t want to be involved in that. We don’t consider the application from the state valid. We have our own town law under municipal home rule,’” he said.

Mr. Macsherry said the Planning Board will “remain flexible” about the issue.

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