Saturday, April 08, 2006

Public Meetings

I've posted the dates of some upcoming meetings. All board meetings are open to the public and they're not as dull as you might think. These are your neighbors making plans for your neighborhood. The agenda for Town Board meetings is posted on the website a week before the meeting. Near the top of the agenda is "Citizens Privilege." This could be called "Open Mike" except that the room is small and there's no need for a mike. Anyone may speak on any topic. It's a chance for everyone to let us know what they're concerned about.

Following Citizens privilege, the Board takes up official agenda items. This month, for example, the agenda includes a report from the highway superintendent on road work planned for this summer, the zoning officer on plans for the new town hall, the recreation coordinator on skateboard park plans and the environmental planner on a proposed alternative energy ordinance.

In light of rising energy costs and environmental concerns there is growing interest in alternative energy sources. In the absence of any zoning regulation of residential wind towers, solar panels and geothermal systems, the Zoning Board has not been able to issue building permits for such projects. The proposed ordinance will establish a procedure for obtaining special use permits including environmental and visual assessment forms. The proposal will also address specific issues related to residential wind conversion systems including:
  • Distance from adjacent property
  • Tower height
  • Noise level limit
  • Lighting limitation
  • Height
  • Visibility of guy lines
  • Fencing
  • Liability insurance
  • Scenic view impact
  • Broadcast interference
  • Wildlife impact
My reading of this very early rough draft is that it will facilitate residents' use of alternative energy sources while protecting the neighborhood and environment.

If you just can't imagine yourself coming to a Town Board meeting, don't forget that minutes of the meeting are posted about a week after the meeting. Take a look and let us know what you think.


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