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Lyme to vote on wind law Saturday following a public hearing

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CHAUMONT — The town will give the public one last opportunity Saturday to comment on its new wind law before voting on the proposed changes that would practically ban wind farms in Lyme.

The draft law argues commercial turbines “eliminate the opportunity to enjoy the quiet surroundings that are characteristic of the region” and can “adversely affect the value of surrounding, non-participating properties.”

And because these structures represent “significant potential aesthetic impacts because of their large size, noise, lighting, shadow flicker effects and other related issues,” the law imposes strict restrictions on where they can be placed and how loud they can be.

Proposed setbacks are:

nHalf-mile from roads, non-participating property lines, neighboring town boundaries, state parks, wildlife management areas, nature preserves and wetlands.

n One mile from the Chaumont boundary, hamlet of Three Mile Bay Lighting District boundary, Route 12E, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, schools, churches, public access sites, ball fields and cemeteries.

n Two miles of Lake Ontario, Chaumont Bay and the Chaumont River.

n 1,600 feet from above-ground utilities other than commercial turbines.

The proposed law sets the maximum total height, including the blades, of any commercial wind turbine at 400 feet and requires that all turbine power transmission lines be underground.

A-weighted, audible spectrum noise limits proposed are:

n Daytime (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), 30 decibels.

n Nighttime (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.), 35 decibels.

The C-weighted, or low-frequency, noise limit will be 18 decibels over the A-weighted limit.

A formal public hearing on the proposed wind law will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Three Mile Bay Fire Hall, 8581 Route 12E. The special Town Council meeting to adopt the law will follow immediately.

Lyme’s proposal is grounded on a recent town-wide survey that determined that a majority — 64 percent — of Lyme residents were against wind turbines.

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