To the Editor:
I do not understand why homeowners or small businesses think it is okay to erect wind turbines that can be seen for miles and are considered eyesores by so many people. Survey after survey has shown that the major objection to wind turbines is visual. Why is it okay to intrude on airspace common to many for the benefit of so few?
The MVC has abandoned its mission by confining its jurisdiction to 150-ft or higher. The individual towns have abandoned their responsibilities too by excluding wind turbines from their existing height guidelines for buildings and other structures. Both the MVC and the towns should review all applications when the turbines can be seen from roads, neighbors, conservation areas, and beaches.
A few people thinking turbines are okay/not so bad/tolerable, does not compare to the many people who find them appalling. If turbines are so great, why doesn’t someone propose one as a town sculpture? Not a chance. Then, why should they be approved when there is no economic or environmental benefit to the community or individual homeowners, and marginal, if any, benefit to small businesses.
Wind turbine proposals have just been approved for Grey Barn and Allen Farms on South Road in Chilmark. They will be seen by thousands and thousands of people every year for miles from roads, conservation areas, and from our precious Tisbury Great Pond, Chilmark Pond, and Lucy Vincent Beach. They will stretch 14 stories high into the sky in one of the most beautiful areas on our Island.
These farms may own their lands but they do not own the sky. We all share the sky and the views. What right does anyone have to spoil these vistas? Why would the four-person zoning board make this decision alone without consulting the MVC or asking for a town vote when the implications are so far reaching? And, if the building inspector was “required to give the permits” because more than 50 percent of the power is for commercial farming, why didn’t the town adopt new regulations to deal with this eventuality? Then, the building inspector would have been able to reject an application not in the best interests of the community.
Driving west on State Road in West Tisbury, a turbine is visible from Scotchman’s Bridge Lane to the West Tisbury Cemetery. It takes a few passes to realize it is only one tower. It is a mile away, on the other side of Old County Road, and yet it degrades the beautiful views over the fields along State Road.
Is this what we want for the Vineyard — dozens of tall towers visible for miles in every direction ruining our beautiful views and landscapes? Now is the time to resist this unnecessary plague before it become commonplace.
It will be a very sad day when the Middle Road views over Keith Farm, the views along South Road in West Tisbury and Chilmark, the views from Tisbury Great Pond, and the views over Chilmark Pond from Lucy Vincent Beach are damaged forever by wide-winged wind towers stretching high into the sky.