Earlier this year, Windaction.org reported on efforts by Roxbury, Maine town officials, together with Independence Wind LLC, to push through zoning changes that would permit industrial wind development in the town. Shortly thereafter, the town residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of a citizen petition to adopt a 180-day moratorium on wind power development. The intent of the moratorium was to give the town time to rewrite the zoning to be consistent with the town's Comprehensive Plan (adopted in 1993), and provide appropriate protections for town residents.
Two weeks ago, the Roxbury planning board held a public hearing to present an updated ordinance. Remarkably, the wording was identical to the previous version. None of the changes expected by town residents were incorporated, and the ordinance remains illegal under Maine law which requires such ordinances be consistent with a town's Comprehensive Plan.
Rob Gardner of Independence Wind LLC, the wind developer in town, apparently speaking for the planning board, explained it would be better to modify the Comprehensive Plan and pass the ordinance as is, rather than adapt the ordinance. He described it as a "two-step process that could be handled at one town meeting." How convenient! He then introduced a municipal law attorney who explained the process to the audience.
WindAction.org is appalled by the arrogance of Independence Wind, LLC, and the apparent complacency of the Roxbury planning board, in ignoring the foresight offered in the town's Comprehensive Plan and the concerns of the town's citizenry. We encourage the residents of Roxbury to vote "No" on any proposed changes to the zoning and/or the Comprehensive Plan unless their health, safety, and welfare are ensured, and the "current character and environment" of Roxbury are preserved.