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Lyme officials to gather public input before voting on “small wind” law in April

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CHAUMONT — The Lyme Town Council plans to vote next month on the proposed renewable energy law, which includes zoning restrictions on personal wind turbines.

If the final proposal is adopted as-is at the council’s April meeting, town residents will not be able to install personal turbines taller than 125 feet, including the blades.

Minimum property line setbacks will be five times the height of the turbine and the maximum power output rating for such systems will be 50 kilowatts under the draft law.

Also, no more than one turbine will be permitted on parcels up to 200 acres in size and applicants must notify owners of “all adjoining properties” at least 30 days prior to submitting a request for a special permit.

Applications for an additional small wind energy conversion system on larger parcels will be considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals on a case-by-case basis, according to the draft law.

Noise will be capped at 35 decibels at night, from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., and 50 decibels during the day.

Other restrictions include:

n No exterior lighting except those required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

n Turbine towers and blades must be painted an “unobtrusive” color and non-reflective finishes must be applied to non-painted surfaces.

n A turbine’s operation must not cause disruptive electromagnetic interference or damage by stray voltage.

n Blades must be at least 30 feet above any obstacle within 500 feet of the turbine.

The town board will hold a public hearing at 6:15 p.m. April 10 before voting on the proposed renewable energy law — which covers “small wind,” solar power and biomass development — during its regular monthly meeting that night.

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