I have a different take on what ‘freedom and unity’ mean

Saint Albans Messenger; August 15, 2016

After reading Chris Maynard’s letter to the editor noting that the Swanton Wind project embraces the Vermont motto “freedom and unity”, I felt I must respond. Unfortunately this project accomplishes neither of these two goals. Freedom not only allows you to do and say what you want, but it also allows you freedom FROM certain things, such as a neighbor’s encroachment onto your land, and into your home, via noise. Although I agree that the developer should be allowed to do as he pleases with his own property, I also believe that I shouldn’t be impacted by their actions in a negative way. They are free to do as they will, up on the ridge behind my house, but when the noise from their project trespasses past my boundary line, and into my home, that is when I become concerned. My freedom from such negative impacts should also be considered.

I do agree with the unity component of his commentary, but it is contrary to the reasons he states. The town of Swanton took a townwide vote with the result of 731 to 160. The developers had every opportunity, just as those opposed, to get their message out. Also, the select board and planning commission rejected the idea of a Swanton wind farm. I would have to say that we are unified in opposing this project.

The fact that those who built homes in Rocky Ridge were notified of a possible wind production facility really shouldn’t be a reason that this project be allowed to go through. No details were ever given as to the size and scope of the project, only a very vague overview. I live every bit as close as those homes in Rocky Ridge, but was never notified that when the developer bought the land, what his intentions were. Neither were the others besides me, that reside along Sheldon Road. Only after they held a meet and greet last July was I aware of what they were planning to do.

Finally, to address the notion that seven giant turbines on the ridge known as “Rocky Ridge”, is somehow going to contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gases, needs to be carefully considered through a cost-benefit analysis. Is it really worth disrupting the natural habitat, dividing the community and exposing neighbors to noise that was not there previously?

Steve Woodward, Swanton

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