MVC public hearing on wind DCPC regulation

The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) will hold a public hearing November 4, on a proposed regulation for the Island Wind District of Critical Planning Concern (DCPC). The meeting takes place at 7 pm at the MVC offices on New York Avenue in Oak Bluffs.

The MVC-designated Island Wind DCPC covers all of Dukes County except for the Elizabeth Islands, certain Indian lands, and land within the town of Edgartown.

The DCPC is made up of two zones. The offshore zone covers all the waters of Dukes County above 220 feet above sea level. The land zone covers the towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury from 150 feet above ground level.

The MVC’s designation of the DCPC triggered a moratorium on building wind energy projects within the two zones for up to one year.

In the meantime, a work group has crafted a Dukes County wind energy plan and a set of model regulations, in consultation with town planning boards.

Towns may modify the model regulations and come up with their own. Draft regulations from towns must be submitted to the MVC, however, for a finding of conformance with the commission’s DCPC guidelines, and approved by voters in each town.

The building moratorium expires on November 5 for the offshore zone and December 17 for the land zone. Next week’s public hearing addresses the adoption of a one-line regulation that would require any applications for wind energy projects in the Island Wind DCPC to undergo MVC review.

The regulation is intended as an interim measure to protect Island towns from the construction of unregulated wind energy projects when the current moratorium expires, until the Island Wind DCPC regulations go before voters for approval at annual town meetings in 2011.