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Yates officials urged to protect Lake Ontario shoreline’s natural beauty

Posted 11 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Editor:

This letter was sent to the Yates Town Board on Jan. 28, 2015.

My family owns property on Lakeshore Rd. Our mother grew up on the Ridge and we have been vacationing on Lake Ontario since 1941. We originally rented a cottage on Haight’s farm in Barker.

In the 1970s our mother (Mary Kerr Dudley) purchased Fire lane 1 from her aunt, Gladys Eggleston. This property became a haven for her extended family, a place where children, stepchildren, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren gather to enjoy the peaceful beauty of Lake Ontario.

Her children invested in additional lake property to accommodate the expanding number of family members. Cousins purchased property on Peter’s Lane. Our grandparents, great aunts and uncles are buried in the Bates Road Cemetery. Our mother will be laid to rest there as well. This is “home” to grandchildren whose childhood involved a lot of moving. The “Lake” is a constant in our family.

We are a family of environmentally conscious members. We recycle. We conserve energy. We conserve water. Two of us have Master’s degrees in Environmental Education and make our living teaching children to be environmentally conscious.

We support alternative energy sources with the caveat that they are environmentally and economically responsible, that they will not destroy natural resources or natural habitats, or cause economic, mental, or physical harm to surrounding populations.

We were stunned to find that Apex Clean Energy has progressed so far in approaching our neighbors regarding installing an unspecified number of 570-foot wind turbines to provide a small amount of electricity into the NY state grid (originally estimated to provide electricity to 53,000 average homes. In NY state this about 0.7 percent of all homes). This electricity will go into the NY state grid and is not necessarily used for homes (only 1/3 of all generated electricity is consumed residentially) or used locally.

Many of the lakeshore property owners are seasonal. We pay high taxes for the privilege of owning our lake property. We are proud of our contribution to Lyndonville’s excellent school system. We shop locally; we hire local people to help maintain our property. We enjoy the rural atmosphere, the benefits of a smaller town, and the summer activities including our famous 4th of July celebration.

We extoll the virtues of Lake Ontario and are rarely without visitors. Anything that might threaten this sanctuary concerns us and we want to make educated decisions regarding the options we have.

Advertised as the largest wind turbines to be installed in NY State, do we really know the risks involved to our land, our health, and our wildlife resources? What will we be sacrificing now and for future generations?

Section 102 of the Yates Zoning Local Law states:

Purpose:

To protect the open, rural, and natural character of the land.
To preserve the town’s natural resources and habitats.
To guide and regulate the orderly growth, development and redevelopment of the Town of Yates in accordance with a well-considered plan with long-term objectives, principles and standards deemed beneficial to the interest and the welfare of the people.
To encourage the use of alternative energy systems and protect solar and wind access.

I respectfully submit at this point in time we cannot forget, ignore, or bypass items 1-3 in order to appear to accomplish number 4. This project is not an alternative energy solution for Lyndonville and Yates.

We need a Board dedicated to researching and analyzing the pros and cons of a huge wind farm partially located within our boundaries. We need to protect the asset we have in the Lake Ontario shoreline and it’s natural beauty. We need a solution that protects the rights of all residents, human and otherwise, to a safe and healthy environment, a solution that allows our town to continue to attract and keep residents, sportsmen, and visitors year round. We need a Board that stands up for the right of Yates to determine it’s own future.

You took the time to add an extensive section on wind turbine zoning in 2008. Please take the same care evaluating the Apex proposal and the documentation supporting arguments against such a development in our town.

As summer residents whose hearts are always “at the Lake” we put our trust in the board to defend the rights of our citizens, our wildlife, and our lakeshore to exist in a healthy environment unpolluted by the noise, shadow flicker, and unsightliness of enormous wind turbines that are not providing “clean” energy in a significant or cost effective manner.

Sincerely,

Susan E. Dudley
Lyndonville