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January 01. 2014 7:50PM

Antrim zoning ordinance would allow wind farms

ANTRIM— Although there are no plans for a wind farm in town, a warrant article that is set to come before voters in March would amend the zoning ordinance to allow the development of commercial wind farms.

The petitioned warrant article, which was signed by 42 residents, would provide for the development of commercial wind farms in the rural conservation district and the highway business district.

The ordinance would also include standards on proper construction, public health and safety, noise, environmental and visual impact as well as require operational agreements with the town.

This would be the third year in a row that voters would have an ordinance before them that specifically allows for large-scale wind facilities. Previous attempts to pass such ordinances have failed.

Whether the town should allow wind farm developments — specifically a plan to erect wind turbines on along the Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain ridgelines — has been hotly debated among residents for the past several years,

In February, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee denied Antrim Wind's application for the 30-megawatt capacity project that proposed 10, 492-foot tall wind turbines along the Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain ridgelines saying the aesthetic impact to the surrounding conservation and open land would have been too great.

Then, in the summer, the SEC denied Antrim Wind and the town's appeal for a rehearing of the case.

Antrim Wind Energy is a subsidiary of Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewable Energy.

mpierce@newstote.com


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