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Newfound Area Voters Again Show Distaste For Wind Power At Town Meeting

Donna Hiltz
/
NHPR

For the second year in a row, voters in the Newfound region have used town-meeting day to voice their disapproval of proposed wind development in the area. Ordinances and resolutions restricting wind development passed by wide margins. Alexandria, Danbury, Hebron and Ashland all passed wind related warrant articles by as much as five to one.

There were a wide variety of measures.

One in Danbury would require wind developers to guarantee the property value of any home within a 3-mile radius of a wind farm. Ashland adopted a broad wind farm zoning ordinance based on a similar rule from the towns of Temple and New Ipswich. which deterred the developer of a small 3 turbine operation.

And three towns adopted so-called “Rights Based Ordinances” which assert the towns control over energy development within the towns borders. Such rules could draw the towns into legal disputes with developers down the road.

Results of the Votes:

Danbury

Requiring developers to post a decommissioning bond with a town to cover the cost of removal of a wind farm: Passed, 290 to 90

Opposing the creation of PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreements between the town and wind developers: Passed, 254 to 116

Requiring wind developers to provide a "property value guarantee"  for homes within 3-miles of a turbine: Passed, 259 to 115.

Ashland

Large Wind Energy System Zoning Ordinance: Passed, 330-120.

Rights-Based Ordinances / Community Bill of Rights

Danbury:  Passed, 264 to 123.

Hebron: 88 to 17

Alexandria: 320 to 119

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.
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