Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
Town Councilor Thora House didn't like fellow Councilor Rod Carr's being accused of ethical misconduct, but that wasn't what changed her vote to award First Wind of Massachusetts a state tax break last week, she said Sunday. ..."I changed my vote for two reasons," House said Sunday. "I opposed it the first time because I believed that Lincoln could have a better deal.
Residents packed into a legislative committee room Wednesday afternoon agreed on one thing - the bill receiving a public hearing was about a wind project, not a simple land annexation. ...The drive behind the move comes from Endless Energy, a company that has twice had its plans for a 300-acre wind farm in the region denied by the Land Use Regulation Commission. LURC oversees the permitting process for Maine's unorganized townships.
About 90 voters in Montville followed suit with Thorndike at town meeting Saturday, March 28, at the Montville Town House, and enacted a six-month moratorium on wind development projects. The issue of potential wind power developments stirred a lengthy discussion. Article 11 asked voters to enact an ordinance titled "Moratorium on Wind Power Development for the Municipality of Montville." According to the draft ordinance, which was included in the town report, the moratorium would target large-scale commercial wind developments.
Townspeople came within a single vote last week of joining the small but growing number of communities statewide that want no wind power developments within their borders for 180 days, Town Manager Donald Guimond said Monday. The article banning wind farm applications or wind farms in town for six months failed in a 45-45 vote by secret ballot during a town meeting.
Endless Energy's effort to put a wind farm on top of Redington Mountain near Carrabassett Valley is a bad idea that won't die the death it sorely needs. In fact, the idea seems to get worse all the time. Knocked down four times, twice by the Land Use Regulation Commission, once by the Governor's Wind Power Task Force, and once by the legislature in its 2008 Wind Power bill, this commercial creature is still on its feet however barely.
Selectmen Monday night approved putting 10 proposed ordinances on the May warrant, including a town wind power ordinance and significant changes to the town's growth ordinance. Few residents spoke at the second and final public hearing on the proposals, and most who did spoke about the wind ordinance. The ordinance will allow small wind turbines in all base zones in town, except in historic district or wetlands areas. Power output will be 20 kilowatts maximum, except for those on municipal lots of more than five acres. In that case, a 50 kilowatt turbine could be built.
Voters approved a six-month moratorium on development of wind turbines. The moratorium is aimed at collecting more information, upgrading existing land use ordinances and addressing environmental, land-impact and tax issues regarding commercial electricity-producing turbines.
Lawmakers heard hours of often emotional testimony Thursday on bills that highlight growing tensions over the use of Maine's abundant wind and water resources. Much of the debate focused on the roles municipalities and local residents play when wind-energy companies and water bottlers come to town. Dozens of people turned out to oppose a controversial and short-lived proposal that aimed to speed up development of industrial-scale wind power by limiting municipalities' ability to control where massive turbines are located.
The proposed $60 million Stetson II wind farm in Washington County earned its final state permit Wednesday after proponents made their strongest statements yet dismissing health concerns associated with wind power. ... Held at the Spectacular Event Center on Griffin Road, the three-hour meeting drew more than 40 people, including several who oppose First Wind’s 28-turbine Mars Hill facility and its proposed 40-turbine Rollins Mountain project on ridgelines in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn.
Staff at the Land Use Regulation Commission is endorsing a 17-turbine wind power facility in northern Washington County near the town of Danforth. The project by First Wind of Massachusetts would be an expansion of the company's 38-turbine Stetson Mountain wind energy facility that began commercial operations earlier this year. Stetson II, as the new project is called, would be built in T8 R4 on Owl and Jimmey mountains north of Route 169. Commissioners will take up the LURC staff recommendation this Wednesday.
Selectmen scheduled a hearing for 7 p.m. March 31 on using town land for wind turbines. The hearing will be held at the town office. ...Silber said getting the approval of abutters is the first step; next, residents must decide if they favor the project.
The health risks versus the economic benefits of wind power were argued Wednesday night at a Maine Department of Environmental Protection hearing on the Record Hill Wind project for Roxbury's ridges. About 75 people attended the session at Mountain Valley High School, where more than 25 of them spoke about the 22-turbine project proposed by former Maine Gov. Angus King and Robert Gardiner.
Today we are faced with many issues regarding the previous ecological misuse of our planet. In our mad dash to correct the maligning of our environment we are grasping at alternative sources of energy: mainly wind, solar and hydro. Wind power is the concern of this letter, and Harley Lee's project on the Redington Range is the center of that concern. I wonder if, in our rush to seek alternatives to foreign oil, we may be overlooking our most valuable local natural resources.
People will have a chance to ask questions and comment on a proposal to build a 22-turbine wind farm on several ridges in Roxbury at a hearing Wednesday night. The hearing, required by the state Department of Environmental Protection as part of the approval process, begins at 6 p.m. at Mountain Valley High School. ...Another wind project in the early planning stages is in the works for nearby Black Mountain in Rumford.
We think the Waldo County Commissioners should convene a high-level forum on wind energy and invite people from all over the area. That way, Freedom residents who have experience with turbines and those from other communities that may well decide to welcome them can confer with both experts and each other. The goal could be a countywide approach to wind energy, though that might be getting ahead of ourselves. After the talk is over, at least we'd all be on the same page.
With the selectmen's vote, the local planning board now is expected to begin drafting an ordinance that would apply to towers. Whether the moratorium would apply only to communications towers or also to other structures such as wind turbines depends on what the planning board recommends and what voters eventually approve, if anything. MacDonald said that if voters approve the moratorium proposal in May, it would be retroactive to the selectmen's Feb. 9 vote. If voters approve the measure, and if any towers start to go up after that date, they could be found in violation of the moratorium, MacDonald said.
Hoping to send a strong message, the Town Council on Monday night voted unanimously to withhold its support of a moratorium on industrial wind turbines within town limits. A citizen petition has placed the question of a 180-day moratorium on industrial wind power development in the community on the March 23 town meeting warrant.
In the two-page appeal she planned to give to the appeals board, Williams said the planning board's approval violated its own, and most other, municipal land-use ordinances for residential zones. Williams claimed that the board's decision effectively defined the farm's 40 380-foot turbines as major public utilities, which, she said, are typically considered "electricity, water, sanitary, sewer, storm water drainage, telephone and cable television" associated with residential uses in the R-1 and R-2 zones.
The Lincoln Appeals Board denied the Friends of Lincoln Lakes its due process rights when it re-jected hearing the group's appeal last month of the proposed $130 million Rollins Mountain wind farm, the group's attorney says. ...Filed in Bangor Superior Court on Friday, the Friends' action is one of the first to challenge an industrial wind project's permit application in a Maine civil court.
A moratorium on industrial wind farms and a new comprehensive plan both passed by wide margins Wednesday night during a special town meeting at the Etna Dixmont School. The 131 voters who turned out for the meeting voted 111-20 in favor of the 180-day moratorium, which aimed to give town officials time to study the pros and cons of such projects, First Selectman Brian Wilson said.