Newport This Week writes: “Online Survey Solicits Residents’ Opinions”

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http://www.newport-now.com/articles/online-survey-solicits-residents%27-opinions/

December 28, 2012  – By Meg O’Neil

The community-interest group Alliance for a Livable Newport has announced that it will conduct monthly email and Facebook surveys to get feedback on what’s going on in the city, including several major projects that will affect residents of Aquidneck Island. Anyone, from any town, who accesses the group’s website or Facebook page online can respond to the surveys.

Approximately 90 people responded to the first survey, which contained three questions – about the proposed tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Broadway improvement construction slated for 2013, and the wind turbine ordinance recently passed by the Newport City Council. Only the toll question requested a “Yes” or “No”  response; the other two questions solicited comments only.

One of the biggest local issues of 2012 has been the prospect of Sakonnet River Bridge tolls. After the state Department of Transportation turned over responsibility for the Sakonnet River and Jamestown bridges to the state Turnpike & Bridge Authority, the Authority announced that in order to maintain Aquidneck Island’s four-bridge system (including the Pell and Mount Hope Bridges), it would have to either raise the toll on the Pell Bridge to $5 or add new tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

Public outcry from residents of Portsmouth, Tiverton, Bristol, and Little Compton led to a 20,000-signature petition against the tolls, and several public forums were held where many residents and business owners spoke out against the tolls.

According to the results of the Alliance survey, 39.5 percent of those who responded were in favor of the tolls, while 54.1 percent were opposed, and 6.2 percent had no response.

Another survey question pertained to plans for the reconstruction and redesign of lower Broadway. Recently presented at a Newport City Council workshop, the project would be done during the summer of 2013. The survey question read: “Will it be worth the turmoil in a major commercial district over the busy 2013 summer tourist season to keep within the project timetable? If the project is suspended over the summer months to permit greater access to businesses and ease traffic congestion, the project costs increase and therefore would not be completed until 2014.”

Read More at Newport Now!

Read moreNewport This Week writes: “Online Survey Solicits Residents’ Opinions”

Survey Responses Question #3 Wind Turbine Ordinance

Alliance for a Livable Newport December 2012  Survey Results
Survey Name: 3 Questions – 3 Minutes
Dec 26, 2012 8:20:14 PM

 PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

3.  Newport City Council passed a “Wind Turbine Ordinance” at their last meeting in 2012. The ordinance is “conservative” and considers most of Newport unsuitable for Wind Turbines.

If your property qualified for a small residential turbine, would you want one? How about if a turbine was on your neighbors property? 

Should small residential turbines be BANNED from Newport’s Historic District properties?   – Responses

Answer
1 Yes,  OK,  No
2 I don’t know enough to have a valid opinion. My gut reaction is to say banning something that can be such a help to the residents of Newport is silly.
3 NO!
4 I actually think wind turbines are beautiful, but also feel that the landscape and views of our coast and community are more beautiful, that we should make every effort to preserve this view. Once it’s lost, it’s lost for good. Small turbines, like those pictured above would be OK, but anything mounted on a pole above the landscape would not work!
5 No
6 yes – wind turbines should be banned from historic districts.
7 No turbines in close quarters.  Unsuitable when houses are close to eachother.  Everything else is banned in historic districts, so why would this be different?
8 For a city located on the coast and most at risk for the effects of global warming, you would think we might have some forward thinking representatives. I am very interested in utilizing wind turbines at my home in a historic district. What use is an ordinance that bans the use of turbines on a large percentage of the city’s residential structures.
9 Undecided
10 This is a huge question. We certainly don’t mind satellite-TV antennas all over the houses. I don’t think many of us know what a wind turbine looks like apart from the large ones. I certainly would like one whipping around in my neighbor’s yard. Certainly not if it’s only for the purpose of allowing the occupants to continue to use excesses of elec
11 yes
12 yes, wouldn’t mind if they were there… supports RI’s ecological conservative mindset
13 As with any project in Historic Districts it must be  taken on a case-by-case basis. Solar panels where they are nearly invisible or can be incorporated into landscaping have been allowed in HD’s and the same could be true of wind turbines. The major difference, of course, is the moving parts. Much like HVAC units the decibels must be considered.
14 Yes, they should be banned. They look terrible. We live in the Historic District and can’t have them and we can’t have the newer windows so pay lots for heating that other people don’t have to pay. We should all have the same options.
15 Residents should me able to have small quiet winde machines that do not impact neighbors quality of life anywhere in the city
16 Small residential turbines should be allowed in all areas of the city, with noise limitations. No, I would not build one.
17 yes
18 Absolutely!  One of Newport’s main attribute is it’s historic architecture.  Wind turbines don’t belong here.
19 NO!They should’nt be banned.As long as they are suitable for that property size.Again this city has to many uptight citizens complaining about everything!The home owner is doing something good for himself and the enviroment.Take some strain of the grid.The Historic District is a joke to.250 year old rundown pieces of crap.Might makeit look better
20 Wind turbines are the “green” way to go. Bring them on!!!
21 At present yes,  Does anyone remember when most homes had TV antennas on their roof.  Will technology become more attractive.  I believe so.
22 I am in favor of allowing SMALL Residential wind turbines. Noise needs to be kept to a minimum for any turbines in residential districts. Not sure how I feel about turbines in the Historic Districts. BUT I am in favor of allowing SOLAR Panels in historic districts.
23 Of course they should be banned in the Historic District. I would not be happy if a neighbor installed a turbine. My house is just a dozen feet from my neighbor’s house.
24 Yes.  The city is too small to have such wind turbines in the middle of a historic district.  There are better places for wind turbines that do not ruin the aesthetics or have noise impacts on reidences.
25 Yes
26 I would welcome small turbines and more solar panels.
27 Of course I’d want one, and on my 211-yeaqr old house as well; I believe it would still look appealing with a propellar on the roof. More importantly, I want cleaner air for my grandchildren, which the continued use of fossil fuels will make impossible.
28 No; there is a very limited market for small capacity turbines.  My lot, at 10K SF and outside the district qualifies but with large trees and the height limit it makes no economic sense, and would have a big impact on neighbors.  The criteria should be based on land area (10K SF is too small) not historic district, these are temporary structures
29 I would support wind turbines as shown in your picturel in the historic district if not viewed from the street or impacting the actual historic structures.  Structures less than 100 years old should be permited to have them, even if the house is in a HD.
30 I have no problems with wind turbines. They’re less unsightly than satellite dishes, and less noisy than generators. I don’t think the commission ever gave the issue serious consideration, and they were set up with the sole intention of banning them from the get go.
31 More flexibility is needed in determining appropriateness for differing historic districts. Nothing in the historic zoning ordinance rules out turbines out of hand. An aesthetic leap has been made between “historic” and “appropriate.” The south end has the largest lots and the best wind, and the strongest NIMBY pressure, which should’t be a factor.
32 Yes we would want one and we would have no problem with our neighbors having one. I don’t see any reason to prevent people in historic districts from haing them either. This is not a novelty or aesthetic device. The future of the country and the planet depend on the rapid implementation of alternative energy sources.
33 I would wnat one on my house and I don’t mind if my neighbor has one.  The HD should be a case by case basis.
34 no. People have satelite dishes “for pleasure”.  These turbines are  essential.
35 Yes.
36 YES
37 I might want one for my own property but only if it were very effective and visually unobtrusive. I do NOT think turbines should be allowed in the historic districts.
38 yes
39 Don’t live in Newport.
40 Ban unless installation is out of sight.  Historic properties are key to the economy of Newport (tourist) and appearance must be preserved.
41 If I had a property on ocean drive I’d want to install a residential turbine. The original recommendation by the Planning Board was to allow such turbines in the Historic District for lots of min 4 acres. Within such reasonable limits property owners should be free to install turbines to save money and become more independent if that’s their choice
42 Yes, turbines should be banned from the NHD but I would permit small residential turbines in other areas.
43 NO
44 yes they should be banned
45 no
46 Is or should ‘turbines’ Be Banned??? I can’t even imagine why?
47 If small turbines are banned so should direct TV dishes.  If it is attached to the roof and not up on a huge pole I’m not sure what the problem is. People have had huge antennas on their houses for years and no one cared.
48 All depends on the size and style. Small turbines  should be allowed!  Noise is an issue, but the vertical ones are fairly quiet, I have heard.
49 NO, Newport County is perfect for wind turbines.  The council got this terribly wrong.
50 no
51 yes
52 ss
53 Yes banned from historic districts All depends on noise otherwise.
54 yes
55 No turbine on our property OK for my neighbor to install a small turbine Yes, should be banned from Historic District
56 Yes — not in keeping with our history
57 Yes.  There are other energy saving steps that can be taken that preserve the historic elements – such as storm windows.  The historic district represents one of the most (if not the most) collection of antique homes in the country.  I think Newport can preserve the historic districts and optimize all conservation measures possible.
58 yes to ban on turbines throughout city
59 It would depend on the size of the turbine and the noise it generated and if there were additional costs to using more traditional sources of energy for the rest of us.
60 Absolutely!
61 My neighbor DOES have small turbines on his roof- feel free to come hear them on any windy night. They are unsightly and noisy and for what? Our electric bills are  modest- so clearly he is doing this to get rebates. Does the city tax that income?  I don’;t think so. Solar panels could do the same thing without the noise.
62 I think small wind turbines are not only desirable but very much in the tradition of Newport. For goodness sake, we are the sailing capital of the northeast because we have wind!! Yes, turbines should not disturb neighbors with noise, vibration or flicker but they are integral to energy independence. I for one as a Newport resident want one.
63 no you should be able to make your own house/buisness sustainable limits on size of course
64 Tricky, because these turbines create noise and visual pollution.
65 Rather than banning ALL wind turbines from historic districts we can evaluate evolving technology which trends to smaller and quieter and could eventually be appropriate.  Banning seems both excessive and shortsighted and as building permits are required for instillation there is a monitoring  mechanism already in place.
66 Yes
67 i do not think scattered turbines, of whatever size and in whatever location are appropriate.  swathes/drifts of turbines, on land and water should be constructed, providing power for the entire island. scattered shot pollutes the eye and looks hit or miss.  an organized plan with sufficient power and visual cohesion would be far better.
68 I would not personally want one for my property and would be concerned of noise levels from neighbors’ turbines (we have open windows in the summer, no AC)
69 Small wind turbines don’t crank out that much electricity and they can be noisy. Residential wind turbines are a noise factor. And they are not very attractive. How about an incentive for solar panels? Satellite dishes and solar panels don’t make noise – meanwhile Cox and National Grid are getting higher prices with poorer service.
70 I don’t think they should be in the historic district
71 Nothing I read distinguished between types of turbines. If “small residential turbine” means a rooftop turbine where a large ground-planted turbine is unsuitable, then I beleive the city counncil should allow them. I would welcome an appropriate turbine on my neighbors’ properties. Not sure about historic districts. Need to hear more info and think
72 no   solar panels should be allowed also.
73 Yes, banned from historic properties only. If they are silent, and can be placed at least 25 ft. High, they should be allowed in residential neighborhoods. This will also increase the supply of squab for grilling in the summer months.
74 I live in a Historic District condo (Bellevue Sq). I would not mind having solar panels or small (vibration-free)wind turbines on our own or neighboring roofs. Ditto for composting, permeable drives and drain ways, etc. Preservation has to modify to fit the times. Good designers and landscapers can help blend such with traditional character.
75 Small turbines come in many form factors; we’ve been poorly educated by the city on the numerous alternatives. Hence their action was drastic, premature, and likely targeted the one home in Fifth Ward.
76 Yes
77 I don’t want a wind turbine on my property or my neighbor’s and would prefer that wind turbines be banned from the historic districts.
78 Yes!  I would not want to look at them, although if they could be concealed I might not object. Then again, I might get used to them after a while.
79 ~If my property qualified, I would consider a turbine.  ~I would not object to a turbine on neighboring property.  ~I would allow turbines in any neighborhood/district that allows structures such as satellite dishes, and I would evaluate carefully their benefits on school properties as evidenced in adjacent communities.
80 No!  This is the stupidest, most nearsighted, reactionary and obstructionist idea ever.  We need to be creative about producing clean power locally, and blanket bans are the opposite of creative.  What we need are some simple guidelines such as safe fall zones, protection of specific vistas, etc that allow homeowners to be creative within them.
81 I do NOT think there should be a ban on small residential turbines.  There are potentially more exceptions to the rule than protections to places where turbines are not acceptable.  This ordinance is an easy way out.  These types of renewable energy decisions should be on a case by case basis, not an all or none philosophy.
82 Need more information as to actually how much power would be generated by small turbines and how much the savings to homeowners would be. Depending on size, they could be fine in the historic district
83 Absolutely banned from the Historic District! I would not put one on my house and would not want one on my neighbor’s.  I support preserving the environment, energey conservation,etc., but the thought of having these turbines on rooftops in  Newport is disturbing.
84 If window a/c units are allowed in the Historic District, then small turbines should be.  My lot is too small, but larger lot owners should be allowed to have them.  We need to encourage wind power, but phasing it in while we study their impacts They should be placed so as not to intrude (noise, vibration, flicker) on neighboring properties.
85 No wind mills in town except for beanies worn by proponents of wind power. Why destroy all the efforts by  home owners to follow a theme of colonial Newport and goof it all up with a circus atmosphere?
86 Turbines ought to be banned from the historic district, but I am much in favor of Turbine development outside of this area.
87 Big turbines, serving the public, out on The Drive, away from residences, would be great. Since Newport should be striving for World Heritage designation, I feel that turbines don’t belong in the core Historic city.
88 Yes I would use one. And no wind turbines should not be banned anywhere period. We need to find alternative power sources.
89 Go Geo thermal We did
90 Yes.

Survey Results – December 2012 “3 Questions, 3 Minutes”

Survey Summary can be seen online:

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e6s0r1wshana1pss/results

The individual survey responses will be shown on separate pages to encourage feedback and comments.

Please COMMENT below, or share on Facebook and Twitter!

December_Survey_Results_Summary

3 Questions, 3 Minutes, Tell us what you think!

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Greetings!

You have a voice in the community!  We want to hear from you about the important issues and concerns affecting our quality of life in Newport. Beginning this month, and each month in 2013, we will ask for your input and feedback with a simple survey of issues selected by the Board of Directors of The Alliance for a Livable Newport. We will also share the results of the survey and publish them online.  Do you have additional questions, concerns or suggestions? Please let us know!

Take this survey

Thank you for participating in this month’s survey! We really appreciate your feedback. Please be sure and visit our Facebook page where you can also post your comments!  We will be announcing exciting new Public Forums for 2013 soon, so stay connected, engaged and informed with The Alliance for A Livable Newport on our website: http://newportalliance.org/.
*Please share this survey with your neighbors! We’d like to hear from as many Newport residents as possible and are actively seeking greater participation and new members!
Sincerely,

Ronald Becker, Treasurer

Alliance for a Livable Newport
info@newportalliance.org/

 

 

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Newport Proposes Turbine Ban Across 80% of City

Newport Proposes Turbine Ban Across 80% of City

By KYLE HENCE/ecoRI News staff

The broad area in red is where turbines of any size or type would be prohibited by the proposed Newport Planning Board ordinance. The proposed wind turbine ban would extend across 80 percent of the city, as reflected in the broad swath of red.

The broad area in red is where turbines of any size or type would be prohibited by the proposed Newport Planning Board ordinance. The proposed wind turbine ban would extend across 80 percent of the city, as reflected in the broad swath of red. NEWPORT — Less than a week after the Department of the Interior opened the Rhode Island coast to offshore wind energy development, local officials held a public workshop on a smaller-scale wind energy ordinance the city’s own Energy & Environment Commission found highly restrictive. The proposed ordinance would implement an outright ban on turbines, regardless of design or size, across about 80 percent of the city.

Drafted by the Planning Board during the past year, the ordinance details requirements for property owners planning installation of small-scale wind turbines that cover height, decibel limits and safety. Board Chairman James Dring and Planning & Development staffer Andrew DeIonno, who joined City Council members and other local officials around a table in council chambers at City Hall on Dec. 5, prepared the ordinance.

Rhode Island as a whole has staked a national leadership position with its Ocean SAMP to carefully develop commercial offshore wind energy potential off the mainland and Block Island. However, the city and town council members on Aquidneck Island have yet to follow suit with a more distributed approach available through the use of much smaller commercial- and residential-scale wind turbines.

http://www.ecori.org/front-page-journal/2012/12/10/newport-proposes-turbine-ban-across-80-of-city.html to read more!

Read moreNewport Proposes Turbine Ban Across 80% of City

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