Help to protect Mount Tabor and the panoramic view of Milford from White Pines turbines 1 to 6
[Here is an article on wpd and heritage views by South Marysburgh resident Liz Driver, including her request to County residents to submit comments to the MOE on this topic. Liz and husband Edwin Rowse, a heritage architect, have done a huge amount of work, and incurred considerable legal expenses, in their efforts to protect heritage views. They have definitely gotten the attention of the province, but need reinforcement by our community.Comments to MOE must be received by May 10, 2014.]
Mount Tabor and its steeple are the focal point of the panoramic view that greets every resident and visitor as they approach the Village of Milford from the Old Milford Road. This iconic view of church and village is at risk from the White Pines Wind Project.
Almost 30 years ago, on 28 January 1986, Warden J.H. Walmsley signed By-law No. 1677 to protect the following special qualities of Milford’s Mount Tabor United Church:
“Highly picturesque on its height above the Mill Pond, and a reminder of the importance of the church in the Township, Mount Tabor’s steeple is the emblem and focal point of Milford. This building incorporates elements of gothic, classical, and Italianate styles in an admirably well-proportioned design. It remains virtually unspoiled since its construction in 1865, the very model of a community meeting hall.”
Six proposed turbines will be directly in the views of Mount Tabor and from Mount Tabor’s grounds. For up to 40 years, Turbines 1 to 6 will cause long-term harm to Milford’s picturesque landmark and community gathering place. The public has until May 10 to send comments to the Environmental Registry. This is your opportunity to explain why the protection of Mount Tabor is important to you, your family, the village and County visitors.
Wpd chose not to include the view from across the Mill Pond, from where T6 aligns with the steeple. To see the obstruction caused by T6, check the video produced by the heritage community on Heritage Canada’s Youtube channel: http://tinyurl.com/nyh76cx .
Wpd did include two vantage points and these can be seen on wpd’s website, at its link for REA Submission Documentation (scroll down to Environmental and Heritage Reports, then expand the list by clicking “+” for Appendix G – Visual Simulations): http://tinyurl.com/kp6pbgr .
Vantage Point 1 shows T1 to T6 in the panoramic view from Old Milford Road. Vantage Point 2 shows T4 dominant from the fairgrounds, looking south.
Wpd’s consultant, Stantec, tried hard to minimize impacts in its “Summary Impact Assessment.” Here is what Stantec concluded (quoted):
“Turbines 01 through 06 will be visible from several vantage points within Milford, in particular from Mount Tabor and St. Philips.”
- Emphatically true.
“For the most part, narrow building setbacks and low elevation will protect views … towards the Mill Pond and Mount Tabor.”
- Untrue! The 45-storey high turbines will tower above the landscape.
“It is the opinion of this study that views from these two outdoor gathering places [Mount Tabor and St Philips Church] will not be obstructed in a way that detracts from an understanding of the place, its cultural heritage values or its greater context.”
- Wrong! It’s the community who best understands the meaning of the place and village/township context, who creates its cultural values, and who will be most sensitive to the disruption and detraction of wpd’s turbines.
“Views of Mount Tabor from Old Milford Road, facing southwest, may include turbines depending on distance from the church; however, none of the turbines obstructs the silhouette of the steeple that defines Mount Tabor as a landmark.”
- Wpd’s own visualization proves that the entire array of turbines 1 to 6 will be seen in the approach from the Old Milford Road, detracting from the focus on Mount Tabor’s landmark steeple within the familiar panoramic view.
“No further mitigation recommended.”
- Unsupportable conclusion! The community demands a remedy, and the only solution is removing the turbines near Milford.
How you can help to protect Mount Tabor and Milford’s panoramic view
By the deadline of May 10, tell the Ministry of the Environment why Mount Tabor is important in the life of the village and your family:
- Use your own experience and family memories as examples of how White Pines turbines will obstruct familiar views from many places, e.g., driving or walking Old Milford Road and Scott’s Mill Road above the Mill Pond, playing sports on the grounds, attending the fair or participating in the Easter parade.
- Object to Stantec’s “it is the opinion of this study” and say it should be the community’s opinion that matters in this case. Express why, in your opinion, T4 and other turbines will (in the words of the study) “detract from an understanding of Mount Tabor … or its greater context” when seen from the grounds and from multiple points around the village, especially from Old Milford Road and above the Mill Pond.
- Demand that the government respect Prince Edward County’s designation by-law and require wpd to eliminate any turbines that will diminish or destroy Mount Tabor’s protected values. Be sure to quote the designation by-law (legal definitions of what is to be protected): Stress that Mount Tabor must remain “Highly picturesque on its height above the Mill Pond” and “virtually unspoiled since its construction in 1865.” The Municipality passed the 1986 by-law to protect these special qualities for future generations, including after 2054 – the potential end of the White Pines project. Anything that damages Mount Tabor’s picturesqueness or unspoiled character for such a long period is unacceptable to the community.
- Emphasize that wpd’s turbines must not harm the view of the steeple as “the emblem and focal point of Milford.”
- Wpd says it cannot remove even one turbine because it will “impact the economic viability of the project.” Stress that protecting the cultural heritage of Mount Tabor and Milford is more important to your family and the County than wpd’s profits.
Send your comments to the Environmental Registry by email, letter or online. Be sure to reference EBR Registry No. 012-1279.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
By letter: Ms Ramona Afante, Senior Project Evaluator, Ministry of the Environment, Operations Division, Environmental Approvals Branch, Approval Services, 2 St Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A, Toronto M4V 1L5
On line via the Environmental Registry: http://tinyurl.com/l3j2qcf .