P’burgh eyes comprehensive plan as part of public hearings series

Mary Perham
Al Wordingham

A public hearing on the Town of Prattsburgh Comprehensive Plan is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at the town hall.

The hearing is one of four public hearings slated before the town board’s regular meeting on the 19th. Local laws on adult stores, land use and wind facilities also will be open for public comment.

The comprehensive plan has been criticized by a number of residents, who argue the plan already was passed in 2009.

Outgoing Town Councilman Steve Kula said questions were raised about the legality of the 2009 document, and the board opted to go through the process again.

Kula said the only change in the original plan is it now includes more flexible setbacks for industrial wind development in the town.

Kula said the original plan used a study paid for by wind developer Ecogen, and put setbacks from property lines at 1,100 feet. However, that one-size-fits-all distance does not take into account different sized turbines, Kuhl said.

Instead, the town Zoning Commission unanimously recommended a commonly used formula for setbacks based on the size of the tower and the blades.

Under the formula which more than doubles the turbine’s height, a standard 260-foot Siemens tower with a small 270-foot blade span would have a 1,325-foot set back from a property line. Smaller towers with smaller spans could be closer to property lines, while larger turbines would be farther away.

The formula would fairly take into account new developments in the wind industry, Kula said.

“That is the only change in the comprehensive plan,” Kula said. “Other than that they are identical.”

The comprehensive plan is under review by the Steuben County Planning Board, according to Town Supervisor Al Wordingham.

Copies of the comprehensive plan, and proposed local laws, are available at the town clerk’s office.