Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wind Turbine By-Law update

This long and winding road is perhaps coming to an end. The intelligent people on the Planning Board have cleaned up and defined zoning issues for wind turbines. I must congratulate Sue, Andrea and Tom for revising this by-law in making it more wind friendly. As it stands now, the revised by-law which I would support, is not making Tom O'Neil, and a few of the other anti-wind turbine zealots happy. As of the last meeting I attended, ( a member of the board actually said, "we have to ban all wind turbines from Framingham") there was talk about pulling Article 25 from the warrant and bringing it back in the fall. They all thought the article would not be heard this week at Town Meeting, and had scheduled a meeting for May 11th.... so if it were to come up tonight, in it's revised state, I would ask for your support on this. It's not perfect, but it's miles ahead and less restrictive to the home owner than the original.

If the Zoning people don't like or accept the revised Article 25, I'm not sure if it will come to the floor tonight. Keep an eye out for Town Meeting tonight on local access to see how this unfolds.

30 Comments:

At May 7, 2009 at 11:32 AM , Blogger Framingham resident said...

Is it intentional that this wind turbine by-law is still not final and they are still discussing what the language should be? It appears they don’t want to give people the chance to review it and think about it before they vote on it. That leads me to believe that those in opposition to the by-law as it is written now fear that responsible, inteligent people who have the chance to read and understand this will support it. That tells me they are afraid of knowledge, which means that they either think we are all stupid, or that we can all be influenced by fear. Seems that fear tactic was used a lot on the American people by our former president, and I personnally do not plan to fall victim to that again. So simply because of the fact that they have had a year to get this by-law finished, and they still have not done that, I would vote to support it as it now stands. And if it does in fact get sent back to committee, I would vote for disbanding the current committee who have proven they can not get the job done, and establish a new committee, and Pillsbury, who appears to know his stuff in this area, should be on the committee. Are you willing to do that Mr. Pillsbury?

 
At May 7, 2009 at 11:43 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

FR.. you bet I am... and have to apologize to Framingham residents that I wasn't more involved with this this past year. Perhaps my working knowledge of the industry would have dispelled some of the outlandish misconceptions that the committee has.

The fact that a Town Meeting member would have to read the entire revised 8 pages and decide it's fate based on a few minutes of reading is what's wrong with the system.

Excellent points about fear FR, it does cloud any issue from reality.

 
At May 7, 2009 at 12:24 PM , Blogger fed up in framingham said...

No need to apolgize, but I think you should get involved at this point since you probably know more about this than any other Framinghman resident. The problem is that the powers that be in town may try and block you from getting on the committee. They won’t be able to run the show if you have any say in things, and they know that from past experience. But I do think if you make your presence known as someone who works in this field and has experience and facts to back up what you are saying, they are going to be hard pressed to keep you off the committee.

 
At May 7, 2009 at 2:40 PM , Blogger James said...

If wind turbines are so controversial that the wind turbine committee can not agree amongst themselves on what constitutes a good by-law, and can not write a by-law in the last 6 months that is solid enough to be put on the Town warrant, then I think it is pretty unfair of them to expect town meeting members to get the wording of Article 25 the same day as they are going to have to vote on it and then read it, understand it, ask questions they may have on it, and then vote. Clearly, any group that can not come up with final language of the by-law in the more than 6 months they have had has some serious issues. Time to kick those people off the committee and get some people appointed to the committee who know what they are talking about and who are willing to get the job done in the time allotted. I nominate Pillsbury to be on the committee. He puts more work into this blog and accomplishes more here than that dam committee has accomplished in 6 months. They had their chance, time for some new blood.

 
At May 7, 2009 at 2:49 PM , Blogger Can't think of a name said...

“No wind turbines anywhere in Framingham”. Isn’t that typical of politics in this town? Town meeting members are for the most part retired people who now want to feel important and contribute, and that is a very good thing, age brings wisdom. The problem is that age also brings opposition to change. Have any of these people been listening to the President? We are a town of democrats, and yet we have people standing up and saying that they don’t think we should allow in Framingham something that is a primary focus of our new President’s agenda. You can’t have it both ways people. Step up to the plate on helping to meet the President’s goals of less oil dependance and alternative energy, or get out of the way. There is plenty of information out there about wind turbines, and yes, it is an emerging technology, but lets put Framingham on the forefront of that new technology. Let’s make Framingham a leader, not a follower. I say we support the bill if it comes up the way Pillsbury says we should, and if it is sent back to committee, we all need to learn more about wind turbines before it comes back to the town meeting for a vote again, and Pillsbury seems to know his stuff in this area, so he should be on the committee.

 
At May 7, 2009 at 2:57 PM , Blogger Doreen said...

Aren’t these things dangerous? I heard some man who was on the committee talking about the issue with sound. I don’t want one of these near my kids school of the noise is going to make him go deaf before he is 18! Those giant propellar blades have got to be dangerous if they ever go flying off. I just don’t think this is a good idea.

 
At May 7, 2009 at 3:52 PM , Blogger Abra said...

Wind turbines dangerous to your ears and your eyes. Big blades make whooshing noise and block sun. Very big mess. No turbines should be in Framingham.

 
At May 7, 2009 at 4:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we even need such a stringent by-law? Other towns are doing this with a 2 page document. What makes it so much more complicated here in Framingham?

 
At May 7, 2009 at 4:33 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Doreen.. Abra,

Please try to open your mind to this issue. They do not present the danger you may think and the clearly don't make any more noise than a refrigerator. And, at the end of the day, it is my right, as a land owner, to capture whatever wind, sun and water that flows on my property.

There are two main classes of wind energy products. The ones that have large blades and sit hundreds of feet in the air, are NOT going in anyone's back yard. The others are called small wind turbines and spin vertically and sit no higher than 35' free standing, or 15' above your roof line, like an antenna or chimney.

Propaganda, lies and misinformation have kept many useful things from our lives for to long and I ask you and anyone else who have these same concerns, to accept truth over lies.

I am more than happy to provide you with the proof of what I have said, at any time. I can't possibly write everything in this blog about the subject so please e mail me with any questions jimpillsbury@verizon.net

 
At May 7, 2009 at 4:39 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Anon,


James and Can't think of a name summarized why here in Framingham is it so complicated. It's the elders who refuse to accept change. And those same people are somehow put in charge and on committees that make big decisions based on what they have heard from non factual sources.

Holliston's was less than a page and was clear as a bell and was passed without fan fair.

 
At May 7, 2009 at 5:09 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

Hope you go to town meeting prepared to speak on this issue Jim. Someone needs to stand up and let people know the facts. I don’t know the facts so I can’t speak to them, but I am willing to listen to the people who do. There are some pretty vocal disenters who sound good when they talk about why we should not have wind turbines in Framingham. If you can talk to the reasons I should not be listening to them, then I am willing to listen.

 
At May 7, 2009 at 7:59 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

All,

At the joint planning wind turbine boards meeting it was agreed to table Article 25 until a later date.

Mr. O'Neils small but vocal group has done their best to pick holes in the draft from the planning board and still introduces more useless and pointless arguments. It's refreshing to hear shouting, especially when it's not coming from me.

I will attend the meeting on Monday night, where I'm not allowed to speak. They... Zoning Board, will have to decide if they will adopt the revised by-law. If so, it goes to Town Meeting... if not, I believe it will be withdrawn by the author and brought back in the Fall.

 
At May 8, 2009 at 8:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Looks like another save for the good guys!

 
At May 8, 2009 at 11:14 AM , Blogger Eric said...

Not sure I understand what actually happened here. Is the by-law off the table completely, or is it off the table until the next Town Meeting, which I think is in September? If it is coming back in Septmenber, how do we make sure it comes back the way we want it to, which means to allow residents to have wind turbines if they so desire, right?

 
At May 8, 2009 at 4:43 PM , Blogger J. Price said...

Glad you had some success with this Jim. You seem like the only one who knows what he is talking about on this subject. Keep them honest on this. Too many misconceptions flying around. Need accurate information to make good decisions on this.

 
At May 11, 2009 at 12:29 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

All,

Tonight there's another zoning by law meeting on the proposed wind turbine by law. Mr. O"Neil and a few others don't like the language and may pull it from the warrant. I'm just not sure at this point, if the entire committee will vote to hold on to it till the Fall or adopt the changes by the planning board and let it come to a vote.

 
At May 12, 2009 at 11:55 AM , Blogger John said...

Jim I watched the Planning Board meeting last night and I really am confused. Is this by-law a go or not? And if it is a go, do you recomment we support or vote against it? I could use some guidance here.

 
At May 12, 2009 at 2:55 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

John,

I was at the pre meeting last night with a few members of the ByLaw committee and one person from the P&Z. The current revised #10 by-law was adopted by the committee.

It then went to Planning Board and as you saw, the PB had not even seen it. More physco babble from the far far right about noise and set backs and residential use. It was decided by vote to have the by-law table ready for tonight's meeting.

The P&Z voted 8 - 0 to refer it back to sponsor.

Bottom line, I would ask Town Meeting to approve the Wind Turbine By-Law in it's present form. It's not perfect, but it's livable for everyone in Town.

Any added amendments to exclude residential use of any kind should be rejected by Town Meeting.

Scare tactics, lies and mis information from a few in Town should not be recognized as the truth. And if you didn't already see this in the Globe today, a testing facility will be built in Charlestown to test wind turbine blades for the large commercial units. Sec of Energy Chu is giving Mass 25 million in stimulus money to make this happen. Why?... because Mass has been chosen to be this countries leader in Wind Turbine technology testing.

 
At May 12, 2009 at 4:28 PM , Blogger Dylan said...

How do we block the ammendments and still pass the by law? This is too damm confusing if you ask me. I say we kick it back to the committee and tell them to get their act together. It seemed to me from what I saw last night that Dawn was angry and Yakov was happy. I thought we wanted to disagree with Yakov? If he is happy, we are you saying to support the by-law as it now stands?

 
At May 12, 2009 at 4:33 PM , Blogger Friend said...

I won’t vote for this simply because I have yet to see a final version of the by-law. I just don’t trust anything they try to sneak by at the last minute. I want to support your position Jim as you seem to know what you are talking about, but I can not blindly support this without the chance to read it and ask questions, and since I still can not find the final version, I won’t have time to do that. I support everything you say and believe you know what you are talking about, but I am surprised that you would support something that is so messed up that it denies the citizens of Framingham the right to learn about what is involved and understand what the by-law will do. So I will vote to send it back to the committee, and then to appoint a new committee since the existing one can not seem to get their act together.

 
At May 12, 2009 at 5:13 PM , Blogger Harry said...

It sounded to me like this wind turbine stuff will come up again before the end of town meeting. But what is the by-law actually going to say about residential wind? I have already thought about putting one of these up to supplement my solar panels. Will this by-law allow me to do that or prevent me from doing it?

 
At May 12, 2009 at 5:15 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Please don't get me wrong here.... the by-law will be available for Town Meeting members to read tonight as far as i know. The Planning Board has yet to endorse or decline, because they haven't had time to read it either. They have scheduled another meeting this Thursday to go over it again.

I'm not expecting anyone to know anything about this until they read it and try to understand it... it's way more complex than need be. Nor do I condone the actions by some of those on the committee's who have purposelessly dragged this out, hours before Town Meeting, in hopes of withdrawing the By-Law because they feel it's not strong enough to keep wind energy out of Framingham for residential use.

If it comes to the floor and amendments are made, I just don't want them to be adopted if residential use, (which would essentially remove wind turbines from Town), is removed.

Mr. Cohn, O'Neil and the rest of the nay sayers have no legitimate argument. Ms. Harkness has made the case and has covered all the bases quite well. The By-Law is not perfect but does get the ball rolling in Town.

I'm very ok with sending it back if Town Meeting says so.. I just don't want a By_law that denies everyone's right to the wind on their property sneaking in under the radar. Better to adopt a reasonable By-Law, than to adopt a By_law that is not.

 
At May 12, 2009 at 5:24 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

As of today Harry, you don't need anything other than the building inspector to approve. The By-Law singles out wind turbines but does not stop anyone from putting solar panels, antennas, satellite dishes or Christmas reindeers on your roof.

The O'Neil gang just want to ban wind turbines from residential use, but the by-law as written now, allows residential use under certain circumstances.

 
At May 13, 2009 at 10:11 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Well.. the plot thickens. I saw Mr. Noonan ask if any articles were to be pulled, he wanted to know about it as soon as possible. Article 25 will be the last heard, if it comes up. Thursday's Planning Board meeting will be telling.

 
At May 13, 2009 at 3:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will this come up at Town Meeting and what will happen when it does? Heard the Moderator ask last night for someone to let him know when it is ready to come off the table. Does that mean there are STILL changes being made to this? If it is not ready at this point, pretty disrespectful of town meeting members to expect them to read it and decide what way they want to vote on this with no time at all. I don't know that supporting this is such a good idea. My gut says we should send it back to the committee. What say you Jim?

 
At May 13, 2009 at 3:20 PM , Blogger James said...

Are you going to the Planning Board meeting tomorrow night? If you go, please speak to the issues so those of us watching know what you think about this bylaw. The only ones I hear speaking so far are against it, except for Dawn Harkness. We need more people to speak for this if it is in fact a good idea to pass it.

 
At May 13, 2009 at 5:10 PM , Blogger new to blogging said...

Jim I hope you and Dawn Harkness plan to speak at the town meeting when this comes up for a vote. Everyone who is against this stands and tells everyone the reason no one should vote for this. BUt not enough people stand up and say why they should. And Dawn should let more people know about the tactics of some committee members to slow this down. Until she said that at the Planning Board meeting the other night, I had not realized that was the case. I just thought they did not get their act together and get the by-law written in time. Now I understand that they had it written, but a few people on the committee dragged their feet and put up roadblocks. With this coming to the TM members so late, they deserve to know why. Make sure Dawn as a committee member makes that point on the floor at TM.

 
At May 14, 2009 at 8:45 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

I will there at the Planning Board Meeting tonight and if Article 25 is not pulled and is heard tonight I will be at Town Meeting.

If it comes to the floor and an amendment is proposed to eliminate residential use, I will stand against it.

I'm still not sure TMM's have had enough time to read and understand the article and wouldn't be surprised to see it go back to the authors.

 
At May 14, 2009 at 11:42 AM , Blogger Tim W. said...

Glad you're going to be there and hope that it goes the way you want as far as the residential turbines. I think it is going to be contentious, my advice would be not to get embroiled in the battle, just stick to the facts and what you can back up. When people get all riled up, it appears it is more an emotional issue that one based in fact, so let them get all angry and upset, and you be the cool head of reason. Sort of a different approach for you, but you have used it successfully lately. Keep up the good work.

 
At May 14, 2009 at 4:19 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Ok wind fans... I have it on good authority that the Article 25 will not come up until next week if at all. Planning Board tonight... only

 

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