Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
Greenwood residents Monday overwhelmingly approved proposed amendments to the commercial wind farm section of town ordinance, effectively banning such farms through a new tower height restriction. The vote was 206-41.
Many property owners have expressed concern about what they say are possible negative effects of wind turbines in areas such as noise, health, scenic resources, wildlife and property values. One new ordinance provision – the height restriction on turbine towers – would effectively ban commercial wind projects, according to town officials.
Gov. Paul LePage wants to eliminate Maine’s fast-tracked permitting process for commercial wind power projects throughout the state except specific locations within Aroostook County.
The town ordinance limits decibel levels from routine operation of wind turbines to 55 in the daytime and 42 at night at non-participating property lines ...The Ordinance Review Committee has recommended decibel limits of 35 maximum for daytime and 25 maximum at night. The panel also voted to limit tower heights to 250 feet and establish setbacks of 1 mile per 100 feet of tower height.
The local Ordinance Review Committee reached a tentative agreement last week on a proposal to lessen key restrictions in the town’s new commercial wind power ordinance. Don Bennett suggested a setback of 4,000 feet from the property line, and Smerczynski and Brown agreed. ...Most members agreed to stay with the current level of 35 decibels during the day and 25 at night.
The 180-day moratorium, if passed, would give the town more time to update the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance to address community concerns about the height, noise and other possible impacts of a project. At a public hearing on the issue last month, there was some discussion that perceived "inadequacies" in the current wind regulations might not be sufficient to meet state requirements for a moratorium.
The Planning Board received an extension to develop a wind energy facility ordinance for the town Tuesday night.
DIXFIELD — The moratorium on wind power projects came to an end at Monday evening's selectmen meeting when the board voted 3-1 against extending it for another 180 days.
The Board of Selectmen will decide tonight whether to extend the moratorium on wind power projects for another 180 days. ...It would be the fifth moratorium extension in four years.
This month, residents voted 178-220 against approving the most recent version of the ordinance, which included the state standard for sound limits of 42 decibels at night and 55 decibels during the day. The ordinance was written after Patriot Renewables of Quincy, Mass.
The Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday evening to sign a letter of support asking the Maine Land Use Planning Commission in Bangor to remove Milton Township from the state's expedited permitting area for wind energy development.
“We felt it was important to get it out there and let everyone know that there could be some serious problems if SunEdison goes bankrupt,” Richard McDonald, a member of the steering committee for the Moosehead Region Futures Committee, said Thursday. ...Withdrawing from the zone isn’t a guarantee that a wind project won’t or can’t be built, but it makes it more difficult to get them approved, said McDonald.
The Land Use Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the petitions submitted by Moosehead residents that remove 10 townships of the region's Unorganized Territories (UTs) from the expedited wind permitting area.
A moratorium on industrial development approved by Temple residents last month is intended to give the town more time to create a comprehensive plan.
The Board of Selectmen voted Monday evening to table finalizing a wind energy ordinance draft to put before voters in June until its March 28 meeting.
Townships and plantations in Maine have until June to opt out of being an “expedited permitting area” for wind development. Already there are nearly two dozen petitions that have been received ...Another 18 petitions are in circulation.
More than 50 residents attended a public meeting Monday night to share thoughts on the town's wind energy system ordinance and see what interest there might be, if any, in changing it. The meeting was called after selectmen received a letter from a Renewal Energy Systems Americas Inc. representative.
Voters in 2012 passed an ordinance to regulate wind energy systems in Temple that prevents the construction of large, utility-scale projects. Residents authorized a moratorium on wind projects in 2011 while a town committee developed the ordinance. ...Steve Kaiser, a member of the committee that drafted the ordinance, said Friday he thinks RES is testing the waters to see if the town may now be receptive to a commercial wind farm.
State officials received 20 petitions on Monday from residents who oppose fast-tracking permit approvals of industrial wind sites in their portions of Maine’s Unorganized Territory. ...Under the law, residents have until July 1 to submit petitions. The Legislature set the six-month period to allow residents enough time to remove areas from the expedited wind-permitting zones and to limit wind investor uncertainty.
Opponents of commercial wind farms are gathering signatures to remove their townships and plantations from the vast areas of Maine where proposals receive speedier reviews, setting the stage for more contentious debates over the growing industry. The first petitions may be filed next week by Moosehead Lake region residents.