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DePasquale won’t blow off Colden wind turbine relief

COLDEN — The Colden Town Board addressed a resident who is trying to build a wind turbine on his property on April 10 at the Colden Town Hall.

Paul Cohn, who lives at 8213 Center St., went before the board to resolve an issue in getting approved to build the tower on his property. In order to build, Cohn would need the town board to waive the requirement of a 1.5 setback, meaning the turbine would need a radius of 1.5 times its height, in case it fell.

“The planning board has denied my request based on the set back requirement,” Cohn said.

Cohn said the site where he would build this turbine would be a distance equal to the height of 1.3 towers, and a distance of four towers to any residence.

“I’d like to get this waiver so I can move on, so we can set up a public hearing as required for the special use permit,” Cohn said. “I’ve met with the planning board several times. I think we’ve resolved all their issues, if I’m not mistaken, Roy, you can correct me, other than the 1.5.”

“We’re still looking for some information on maintenance,” Ray Bergman, Colden planning board member said.

Supervisor James DePasquale said he did not want to supersede his boards before they’ve made their final recommendations.

“You’re saying you haven’t had any relief from the planning board yet?” DePasquale said.

“Well, they flatly denied us,” Cohn said. “That’s not relief, that’s denial. We have no other recourse other than a waiver. That’s it.”

Councilman Jerry Pietraszek suggested the manufacturer could make the tower a little lower, if possible.

“They can,” Cohn said. “But they’ve done the wind study, and they’ve determined that to get enough energy to power it, then it has to be this height.”

Cohn said that the WIVB tower directly across the street from his property would pose a much greater threat to the surrounding residences.

“My tower, if it were to fall, would have to jump four times the distance of the tower to hit any residences,” Cohn said.

Cohn said the problem areas are on the north and south boundary lines on either side of his planned tower. He said the tower would be 1,200 feet away from the road.

“The WIVB tower requires the same 1.5 set back requirement, and clearly it was waived,” Cohn said. “If that tower were to fail, it would be catastrophic. I don’t think anyone would even hear if my tower fell.”

The proposed tower is 172 feet tall and would be in violation of the set back requirement by 38 feet.

“I can see where the planning board is coming from,” Pietraszek said. “They want a certain fall-zone for the next property over, in case someone builds a structure in that area.”

Pietraszek suggested the possibility of getting an easement from the neighboring property for the remaining 38 feet. That would create an agreement that no dwelling would be built in that area.

Cohn will be meeting with the environmental board on May 6. DePasquale said that he would take the next couple of weeks to clarify whether an easement can be used and what other remedies could be used.

“I’ll come up with a valid answer of what you could do,” DePasquale said. “That way, we can get this taken care of.”

In other board news:

– Highway Superintendent Paul Clarkson said the department will be starting spring cleanup, but asks for patience, while it waits for shared equipment.

– Clarkson presented bids for the construction of a concrete floor for the highway department’s winter truck storage. The town decided to go with Engasser Construction Corp., for a price of $10,000.

– The West Falls-Colden Library received a donation of a digital magnifier to allow visually impaired people to get a better look at books.

– A resolution from the town of Colden was made to show interest in purchasing the lot next to the town hall for added green space, and expanding the memorial park.

– DePasquale advised residents to keep their car doors locked, as there have been recent break-ins. He said the cars that have been robbed from have all been found to have been unlocked.

The next Colden town board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on May 8 at the Colden Town Hall.
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