ARTICLE: "SIGHTING" WIND ENERGY FACILITIES IN VERMONT: FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN SOCIETAL BENEFITS AND AESTHETIC BURDEN Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2009 Buffalo Environmental Law Journal
Buffalo Environmental Law Journal

ARTICLE: "SIGHTING" WIND ENERGY FACILITIES IN VERMONT: FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN SOCIETAL BENEFITS AND AESTHETIC BURDEN

2009 - 2010

Buffalo Environmental Law Journal

17 Buff. Envt'l. L.J. 1

Author

Adam Sherwin *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Vermont is a state with strong environmental traditions. Known as the "Green Mountain State," Vermont has taken an active role in protecting its landscape, wildlife, and natural resources. One of the state's most unique environmental protections is the Land Use and Development Law, commonly known as "Act 250." A requirement for a variety of different development projects, 1 Act 250 consists of ten criteria that must be satisfied in order for a permit to be approved. 2 These criteria include more than just concerns over pollution and depletion of natural resources, but also consider the development's impact on the surrounding community. 3 Example criteria include: "undue water or air pollution" 4 and soil erosion, 5 undesirable effects on the water supply, 6 unreasonable traffic congestion, 7 unreasonable burden on education, 8 municipal or government services, 9 and conformance with local and regional plans. 10

Of these criteria, criterion eight is one of the most controversial, part of which requires that the development does not have an adverse effect on the aesthetics of the scenic or natural beauty of the area. 11 Criterion eight has been an important part of challenges to a wide variety of development projects, including shopping centers, retail stores, and ski resorts in Vermont. 12 Recently, aesthetic concerns have surfaced regarding the development of wind farms on mountain ridgelines throughout the state. 13 These projects are reviewed by the Public Service Board, and the law for granting a certificate of public good requires ...
 
 
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