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Welcome to the Fall Training Session for St. Lawrence County Municipal Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal. Agenda. 6:30 – 6:35 Introductions and overview of agenda 6:35 – 7:05 Article X and Local Wind Laws -- Should every

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Welcome to the Fall Training Session for St. Lawrence County MunicipalPlanning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal



  • 6:30 – 6:35 Introductions and overview of agenda

  • 6:35 – 7:05 Article X and Local Wind Laws -- Should every

    municipality have a wind law?

  • 7:05 – 7:30 Running a meeting and public hearing -- from public notice to filing a decision with the Clerk

  • 7:30 – 7:35 Break

  • 7:35 – 8:25 Planning and Zoning Jeopardy:

    Come and show off your planning and zoning knowledge! Team Planning will battle Team Zoning for bragging rights and prizes

  • 8:25 – 8:30 Wrap-up and Additional Training Resources

Article x and local wind laws

Article X and Local Wind Laws

  • Article X – a Section of Public Services Law

  • The Power New York Act of 2011 reinstated and revised Article X

  • Article X addresses power projects that are greater than 25MW (about 10 towers)

Article x and local wind laws1

Article X and Local Wind Laws

  • Article X creates a siting panel made up of seven individuals (5 state and 2 local representatives)

  • Siting process includes two steps:

    • Preliminary scoping statement

    • Filing of a certificate application

  • The goal of the wind developer is to obtain a “Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need”

Article x and local wind laws2

Article X and Local Wind Laws

  • Time frame: Goal is to have a “Certificate” within 12 months from the date the application is considered complete

  • Application must contain:

    • Safety plan

    • Air quality analysis

    • Community overview

    • Alternative location study

    • Environmental plan

    • Bird and bat impact analysis

Article x and local wind laws3

Article X and Local Wind Laws

So why does my town need a wind law?

Section 168 3(E) reads “The facility is designed to operate in compliance with applicable State and Local laws and regulations…”

The siting panel can override local laws if they are “unreasonably burdensome in view of the existing technology or the needs of or costs to ratepayers…”

Article x and local wind laws4

Article X and Local Wind Laws

You should have a wind law because:

  • If your town is developable for big wind you should have something the siting panel can review.

  • The project may be under 25 MW

  • You will want to be able to regulate small wind towers and MET (wind measurement) towers

Article x and local wind laws5

Article X and Local Wind Laws

I live in a Village, why do I need a wind Law?

Article x and local wind laws6

Article X and Local Wind Laws

Review elements for small wind towers:

  • Minimum lot size

  • Maximum height and wattage

  • Setbacks (fall zone)

  • Blade height

  • Noise standards

  • Aesthetic considerations

Public hearing process

Public Hearing Process

for Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals

November 29, 2011

What is it

What is it?

  • An official proceeding

  • Quorum must be present

  • Gives the public the right to be heard

Land use decisions

Land Use Decisions

  • Comprehensive plans

  • Land use regulations

  • Subdivisions

  • Special Use Permits

  • Use and Area Variances

  • Optional: Site Plan Review

Contents of notice

Contents of Notice

  • At a minimum:

    • Board conducting hearing

    • Date, time, place

    • Purpose of hearing

Other helpful content

Other Helpful Content

  • Where documents can be reviewed

  • Contact information

  • Where to submit written information

  • Amount of time for testimony



  • Official Newspaper (affidavit)

  • Municipal Bulletin/Website

  • Neighboring Property Owners

  • At Property Location

  • Municipal Neighbor

Meeting location

Meeting Location

  • Seating Capacity

  • LCD/Overhead Projector

  • PA System

  • Recording Device

Contentious issue

Contentious Issue

  • Clerk’s Office, Library & Online

  • Official Transcript

  • Municipal Attorney

  • Presentation at Hearing

  • Expert Witnesses

Opening hearing

Opening Hearing

  • Welcoming remarks

  • Introduce Board members

  • State intent

  • Review satisfaction of posting requirements

Hearing process

Hearing Process

  • Review how hearing will be run

  • Optional:

    • Present project

    • Expert testimony



  • Identify ground rules & time limits

  • Accepting written testimony

  • Keep speakers on track, enforce ground rules

Q as by board

Q & As by Board

  • Clarify presentation by expert witnesses.

  • Caution:

    • Can transition to debate

    • Can raise emotions

    • Diminishes Board’s control



  • Reconvene on different date or at another location

  • Allow for additional testimony

  • Gather more information

Closing hearing

Closing Hearing

  • Say thanks

  • Explain next steps

  • Announce when decision will be made



“Conducting Public Meetings and Public Hearings” – James A. Coon Local Government Technical Series


5 Minute Break

Additional training resources

Additional Training Resources



  • County Training, April/May 2012

  • Local Government Conference, Tuesday, October 9th, 2012, SUNY Potsdam

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