Pomfret WECS hearing March 13

The town of Pomfret has been reviewing its wind energy conversion systems law, and is ready to bring the law to the public for comment.

At previous workshop meetings, council members sought to update the definitions and allowed sizes of non-commercial wind towers, and on what size properties they could be built. The council members also focused on determining distances from non-applicant homes and utility transmission lines. The local law was last revised in 2007 and it was noted by the town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro the technology available for small WECS has changed significantly since that time.

At a regular town council meeting Wednesday night, a date was set for a public hearing on the proposed local law. On March 13 at 6:15 p.m., before a regular meeting, the board will hear from the public on the law.

As currently proposed, the local law will require property size of at least two acres for a small WECS to be permitted. On properties with two to five acres, non-commercial towers up to 100 feet will be allowed. On properties five acres or more in size, towers up to 150 feet will be allowed, but for either size, other conditions must be met.

The towers must be placed at least one and one-half its length from utility wires or other utility structures and two times its length from non-applicant neighboring homes.

The current law allows for up to 65 kW nameplate capacity, but the board is increasing that capacity to 100 kW.

Meeting the conditions won’t be enough to guarantee a resident a permit for construction of a small WECS, however.

A special use permit must also be obtained from the zoning board of appeals at a public hearing.

Areas already designated as conservation districts will not likely be considered for WECS development.

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