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TOWNSEND — A Planning Board member presented a proposed new bylaw that would apply to wind turbines, and if adopted it may be the first bylaw of its kind in the country.

Some towns have ordinances pertaining to the turbines, which convert wind power into mechanical energy, Planning Board member Stanley Vladyka said at the board’s Jan. 29 meeting. However, his research didn’t turn up any applicable bylaws in town.

Vladyka modeled the wind turbine bylaw he hopes to propose after the town’s cell tower bylaw, he said.

Wind turbine construction, at least for the support pylon, is similar to that of a cell tower, he noted.

“Hopefully we can get this on the spring town meeting warrant,” said Vladyka.

Board Chairman Jeffrey Peduzzi predicted that residents will be more concerned about the effects and appearance of wind turbines than about silent, unmoving cell phone towers.

“It doesn’t matter how you legislate this,” he said. “It’s going to catch a lot of grief.”

Smaller towers, geared toward serving homes, farms and small businesses, range from 40 to 100 feet high, according to the Web site of Bergey Windpower Corp. The turbines mounted on the towers can directly power machinery, or can convert the wind energy into electricity.

Vladyka said he showed the bylaw draft to Building Commissioner Richard Hanks, and asked the board’s approval to have town counsel review the language, to which the board agreed. — Keyna Thomas