Hanover holds public hearing on proposed windmill

HANOVER – For the second time, an Angell Road resident is requesting a variance for a wind energy conversion system. The Hanover Town Board held a second public hearing recently for a WECS to be located at 12037 Angell Road for a 1.5 foot variance.

Previously, the board held a public hearing and approved a variance of 12 feet over the 120-foot limit. Padma Kasthurirangan of Niagara Wind & Solar, who will be installing the WECS, approached the board for an additional variance to total 135 feet. The original drawings were incorrect and a variance of 133.5 feet – instead of 132 feet – was actually needed.

During the hearing, residents had concerns. Kelly Shumaker, who also lives on Angell Road, had questions about noise and shadow flicker.

“I did a lot of research into wind turbines. They create 55 decibels of noise at a quarter of a mile. They can be very hazardous to people with migraines or epilepsy due to shadow flicker created by the wind turbine itself as it passes over homes. … I have a serious problem with this going up almost across the street from my house,” she said.

Kasthurirangan said the shadow flicker would not impact any adjacent properties; the turbine would be located 200 feet from the nearest property line. Shumaker also had a question about ice shearing off the turbine in the winter. Kasthurirangan said this is physically impossible. She explained the blades are “completely balanced” and they will not rotate if there is something on one of the blades. Shumaker wanted to know what recourse actions she would be entitled to if this scenario were to happen.

Supervisor Todd Johnson asked if the turbine could be cut or dug down deeper during installation to reach the variance already approved. He also asked if the dimensions were going to change in the future again.

“My simple solution would be go down in the ground another foot and a half and we wouldn’t be here talking about it. You’d be at your 132 (feet),” Johnson said.

Councilman Bernard Feldmann said since the public hearing brought up concerns which were not previously addressed at the first one, he was uncomfortable voting on the matter. Feldmann made a motion to “reserve decision, re-evaluate the facts and comments heard tonight and come back with a vote at a later time.” The motion was approved unanimously.

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