Castleton Considers Ban On Industrial-Scale Wind

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Town officials in Castleton are considering a plan that would prohibit industrial-scale wind turbines from certain peaks.

Castleton’s Planning Commission has been working on changes to ridgeline zoning regulations. The commission says there’s widespread agreement that commercial development shouldn’t be permitted on 20 peaks the commission has identified.

Meanwhile, some members of the Planning Commission feel that residential wind development should only be regulated on peaks above 1,500 feet.

A wind farm proposal on a ridgeline that includes the Grandpa’s Knob peak has drawn criticism from many local residents. Opponents say the 50-megawatt project in Pittsford, Hubbardton, West Rutland and Castleton would hurt the region’s wildlife, ruin its scenic beauty and threaten tourism at an important historic battlefield. 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock says he supports a moratorium on development of large-scale wind towers. Democratic incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin says he opposes a moratorium, but is on record as saying he won’t support a wind development if a town votes against it.

Last month, voters in Newark amended their town plan to make clear that they do not support industrial wind development.

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