Cape Vincent adopts new zoning law on wind farms

Aug 3, 2012

The Cape Vincent Town Council has voted to adopt a new zoning law that includes strict restrictions on wind turbines.

In February, the Jefferson County village put in place a moratorium while the council considered the effects of wind farms.

This week, the council also asked the Cape Vincent Town Planning Board to consider terminating BP’s application for a wind farm. Bob Brown, Chairman of the Cape Vincent's Zoning Rewrite Committee, says BP has done nothing on the application in some time.

“There was no communication from Acciona to BP for a year before the moratoria was put in place. That is more than adequate time to move a requested project forward…it is the planning board that has to terminate that contract because they’re the lead agency, not the town board, but the planning board,” Brown said.

Brown says BP has not been in contact with the village, but they have heard that the company may bypass local wind regulations by seeking state approval for its project.

“They sent a letter that we saw through back channels, or let me say, they sent a letter that we were made aware of - but sent no copy to Cape Vincent - to the Article X board saying they intend to pursue it through Article X,” Brown said.

However, despite the threat to the town’s control over the issue, Brown says he is confident that as long as the Article X board recognizes that their new zoning laws were created for the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the town, they will not overrun the law.