Amid Statewide Debate, Newark Revises Plan To Block Industrial Wind

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The town of Newark has amended its town plan to make clear that it does not support industrial wind development.

During a special town meeting on Monday, voters approved an advisory resolution 169-to-59.

It called for the select board to approve a new plan that identifies specific ridgelines, highlands, and bodies of water as having particular scenic, wildlife, and recreational value.

The board then unanimously approved the plan, which stresses that large-scale industrial and commercial development is inappropriate in Newark.

It also says that no wind development should take place at elevations higher than 1,700 feet, and that no structures should exceed 125 feet.

Eolian Renewable Energy wants to put up 35 to 40 turbines in the Northeast Kingdom to test the wind, erecting 200 foot wind measuring towers. One is planned for Hawk Rock in Newark. 

Town officials say these amendments should clarify and strengthen Newark’s plan.

"Our old town plan took a pretty clear position against the industrialization of the town," said Kim Fried, chairman of the Newark Planning Commission. "Developers misrepresented the intent of the old town plan and claimed that it supported industrial wind turbines. The developers insisted that they understood our town plan better than we did and dismissed the objections of the select board, the planning commission, and the citizens of Newark."

Select Board chairman Michael Channon wrote a letter to Governor Peter Shumlin after Newark voted. Channon urged Shumlin to tell the Public Service Board that his administration would not support construction of industrial wind turbines in towns that do not want them.

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