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Jordanville Wind Power Project Assessment

Communities

Jordanville Wind Power Project Assessment
Warren and Stark, New York

Heritage Landscapes reviewed the NYSEQR Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Proposed Jordanville Wind Power Project on behalf of advocacy groups Otsego 2000 of Cooperstown and Advocates for Stark.  The review of the DEIS focused on impacts to visual and historical resources of the proposed project area is sited within over 6,225 acres of farmland on an elevated plateau with 75 wind turbines of approximately 400 feet in height proposed.  This proposed project is located within the Mohawk Valley Heritage Area, along the New York State Scenic Byway Route 20 corridor and within and adjacent to several designated, eligible and potentially eligible National Register historic districts and rural historic districts.

As a foundation for the DEIS review, Heritage Landscapes conducted a field review of visual and cultural resource impacts within the Jordanville Wind proposed project area, in adjacent historic districts and from Lake Otsego.  Our findings indicated extensive impacts beyond the project area to the adjacent cultural landscapes of Otsego and Herkimer Counties that would degrade resources of historic and scenic value.  Additionally, Heritage Landscapes concluded that the Jordanville project area itself has high integrity with potential for rural historic district listing on the National Register of Historic Places. We requested a Determination of Eligibility and consideration of project impact mitigation.  A thorough review of the DEIS revealed that the magnitude and scale of the proposed wind turbine project would generates visual impacts beyond town boundaries to the historic and scenic landscapes in adjacent townships and counties up to a distance of 15 miles.  GIS visual analyses and photographic simulations prepared by team members confirmed that proposed wind towers will be visible in daytime and red blinking night lighting will impact nighttime views from adjacent historic districts and scenic byway and Lake Otsego, which have virtually remained largely intact since the 18th century. The proposed wind turbines were out of scale with the agricultural landscape of the Jordanville escarpment and surrounding landscape.  As a result, Heritage Landscapes testified that the DEIS should be enlarged to address the project impacts and mitigation strategies to significant cultural and historical landscapes within the project area, abutting townships, counties and areas up to a distance of 15 miles from the proposed intensive Jordanville Wind Power Project.  Recommendations for mitigation included reducing the size of the project area size, reducing tower height to 199 feet, below FAA night lighting regulations, and studying the Jordanville project area to determine eligibility as a rural historic district on the National Register.

Client:
Otsego 2000, Cooperstown and Advocates for Stark

Project:
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) Review

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners, expert tesimony cultural resources and visual impacts, GIS Mapping by Stone Environmental, Inc, Simluations by Xtra-Spatial Productions