Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
The Norman Rockwellian picture of Atkinson

There is a NEW POLL at Right--------------------->

Don't forget to VOTE!
Make your voice heard!

Welcome Message and Mission Statement

Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Atkinson residents denied backyard wind systems

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson residents denied backyard wind systems Zoning board rejects requests; new state law to help applicants
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Two men learned last week that they won't be allowed to generate their own electricity through wind turbines. Like many other communities in Southern New Hampshire, Atkinson's zoning regulations don't address wind turbines.

Bruce LaCreta and John Recesso applied to install wind systems in their backyards, but were denied by the Zoning Board of Adjustment at a hearing last week because they're not a permitted use.

"It's a structure that's not permitted in the zoning right now," board member Sanford Carter said.

But a new law that is scheduled to go into effect on July 11 will prohibit communities from unreasonably limiting the installation and performance of residential wind turbines. Not allowing wind turbines in an entire community, setting electrical or structural design criteria that exceeds state and federal codes, and excessive setback requirements would all qualify as limiting wind turbines, according to the law.

Eric Steltzer, energy policy analyst with the state Office of Energy and Planning, said LaCreta and Recesso could file another application on July 12, and there would be no hearing with the zoning board. Under the new law, Atkinson would have to find another reason to deny the applications.

"The building inspector cannot deny based off permitted use or based off height restriction," Steltzer said of the new law.

To help communities regulate residential windmills, a model ordinance has been crafted by the state, Steltzer said. But each community should modify the ordinance to fit its zoning regulations. So far, about 20 communities across the state have adopted ordinances dealing with residential wind systems, Steltzer said.

Locally, several communities have discussed potential ordinances, including Atkinson.

Derry held a few discussions on the issue last year and Londonderry had a similar discussion last Thursday.

Bob Mackey, Derry's code enforcement director, said he seldom gets questions on windmills, but it wouldn't necessarily be a problem in that town.

"Basically, they would be allowed as long as it's for a residence," Mackey said.

Londonderry has scheduled a public hearing for July 8 to discuss an ordinance. Sue Killam, Atkinson Planning Board chairman, said a proposed ordinance could be put before voters at the March 2010 Town Meeting.

"That's something we'll be working on in the fall," Killam said.

Under the new law, the building inspector will accept or reject an application for a wind turbine. Previously, most towns would have sent the application to the zoning board, according to Steltzer.

In Atkinson, LaCreta and Recesso were first denied by Building Inspector Robert Jones, so the zoning board could interpret the town's zoning regulations.

Jones ruled that the wind turbines were not an accessory use as defined in the town's zoning rules.

LaCreta, a plumber, said the two neighbors had been researching the turbines for months and he was hoping to cut his electricity bill by three-quarters with the 54-foot-high model. Recesso was hoping to generate all of his electricity through a 71-foot turbine.

Although the Merrimack Valley isn't very windy, LaCreta said he had a wind report done and there was just enough to make it worth the effort.

He was looking at a model that cost between $12,000 and $15,000. With all of the federal, state and local incentives, LaCreta said now seems like the perfect time to install a turbine. "We thought it was a good deal," LaCreta said.

At Town Meeting in March, Atkinson voters approved a local ordinance, 1,194 to 369, to give homeowners an exemption for the cost of a wind system, plus installation. Pelham and Londonderry also have similar rules.

The federal government also will give homeowners a tax break of 30 percent on their income tax if they install a wind system.

The state Public Utilities Commission also offers homeowners an incentive for residential wind systems. Starting on July 1, homeowners can apply for a rebate of $6,000 or 50 percent of the cost of the turbine, whichever is less.

LaCreta and Recesso have even formed a business, Atkinson Alternative Wind Solutions, to install residential wind turbines. They were hoping their own turbines would be a model for what other people could do at their own homes.

But now, they will just help other people install wind turbines in other communities.

"I want to know what the next town is going to do," LaCreta said.


Anonymous said...

I think the Planning Board was dead wrong on this. 1) Just because there is no rule allowing it shouldn't automatically mean it shouldn't be allowed. 2) Given that the systems will be legal in July anyways, why say no now.

This was a foolish decision and just contributes to many peoples distrust in local government.

Get your heads out of your asses you guys

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the PB voted it down. I don't want those attrocities dotting the landscape! Put up some solar panels and be done with it. No one is going to be bothered with the noise and unsightlyness of solar. They will with wind turbines!

Anonymous said...

Did you read the article? After July 11, the PB has no say whatsoever in the matter. On July 11 State law preempts the PB. As long as the turbines comply with the state regulations, the building inspector has no choice but to issue a building permit.

They are coming and you cannot stop it as long as they comply with the law.

Anonymous said...

Yes I did read the article, however, I also think that residents should give some consideration to their neighbors before putting in something that will interfere with their neighbors enjoyment of their own properties all so they can eventually save a few dollars on their electric bills. I think they're the ones who need to pull their heads out of their asses.

Anonymous said...

Our zoning laws allow single family houses at 35 ft. so a tower is just 19 ft taller. Not bad. The trees wll block it.

The town approved condos this tall too.

Anonymous said...

The trees won't block the swooshing noise...

Anonymous said...

I looked at some of the residential wind turbines and they produce a noise level of 55 dBA. This is a level that starts to disrupt sleep. Typical noise levels for rural areas are usually between 20 and 30 dBA. I believe if the PB puts in a simple noise ordinance of 40 dBA, then the problem will be solved.

tim dziechowski said...

Speaking here as a PB member...the PB has no jurisdiction over this. It's a zoning issue. Since our zoning table of permitted uses does not include windmills, the ZBA had to rule no at the ZBA hearing. The PB will be drafting a zoning article change this fall on windmills for you to comment on and vote on at next year's town meeting. From July until next TM, by state law anyone in town can put up a windmill.

I would be surprised if there are any members of either the PB or the ZBA who are opposed to wind generation or solar power. I think our regulatory concerns should be limited to noise and public safety. I was thinking of putting up a wind generator myself but last year's ice storm made me reconsider.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the correction. I often get the PB and ZB confused. So, to rephrase my comment, I think the Zoning Board was dead wrong on this.

I still stand by the rest of comment.

Anonymous said...

My neighbor snoring was recored at 58dba in a clinical study. I think it's time to run him out of town. He's not the type of person we want in our town. Rules are Rules

Anonymous said...

I think it becomes a quality of life issue. If you don't mind having a constant 55 dBA noise being produced next to your property, so be it. Myself, I wouldn't care to be kept up at night. Londonderry just produced some guidelines surrounding wind turbines including that the noise level couldn't be more than a certain number to your neighbors property as well as sun flicker issues. Perhaps that would be a good model to use. I would suggest anyone considering putting one up to go and spend some time near one and also to consider the impact on your neighbors. Angry neighbors do not make for a happy neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Going back to the frist post. Why did the ZBA waste town resources and time on a no vote ,knowing that it would be legal in July.I would think the applicate could have postponed it one month and got a yes vote. So why is there distust in local goverment again ?

Anonymous said...

Let the crazy green nuts waste their money on wind mills. They make no sense economically or ecologically. But it makes these smug people feel holier than the rest of their neighbors. But their neighbors are the ones that can chuckle at the foolishness.

Anonymous said...




computer-to-plate said...

Communities from Kekaha Hawaii to Weymouth MA are allowing rooftop wind turbines now. A friend of mine jist got a system from and the hybrid wind/solar kit just goes on the roof. They are about $2900 to get one and come with everything. Residential Turbines

There is no stopping the technology because people have found out that they can get systems like this and get off the grid. These comanies like WindEnergy7 have developed really good kits to help homeowners do it. This all over the US now.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record quite a few of these stated facts are wrong, many new residential windmills generate less than 34dba at 18 feet away. I have a hard time beleiving anyone will loose sleep over their neighbors turbine when it is well within the states RSA of 150% of the height away from any property line. This particual RSA keeps residential turbines in check from being too close to any property line. BTW-no swooshing sounds at all, not even on the megawatt ones, if you don't beleive, go to Newburyport and see the monstrous turbine in the industrial park and collect your real life facts not just read in some article. Your 100' tall pine tree will make more noise than these turbines.

Anonymous said...

Wow, finally information we can use from the public, with websites we can visit. No Selectmen here to help destroy the facts. I like it. Looks like the blog is coming into its own. Keep the info coming..

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend the best Endpoint Security system for a small IT service company like mine? Does anyone use or How do they compare to these guys I found recently: [url=] N-able N-central database monitoring
[/url] ? What is your best take in cost vs performance among those three? I need a good advice please... Thanks in advance!