Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
Selectmen voted Monday to ask the state Legislature pass legislation allowing Carrabassett Valley to annex the upper portion of Redington Township, subject to local voters' approval. The move allows the process and debate to continue so that if the Legislature passes a private and special law, a townwide vote can occur. It will be up to Carrabassett Valley registered voters to make the final decision on annexation. If they approve, then it opens the process for a community-based wind farm to be built.
Two public hearings are set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, in the town office regarding proposed changes to the comprehensive plan and a land-use ordinance that would allow wind-power facilities to be built on Roxbury hills.
Residents will head to a special town meeting Tuesday, Jan. 6, to consider approving a six-month moratorium on wind turbines. The vote comes as a third company has expressed interest in erecting wind turbines on town-owned property. ...The warrant for the Jan. 6 meeting states there will be "discussion on the status and findings regarding proposals received," although there is not a specific article calling for a vote on the proposals. There is, however, an article asking voters if they will approve a moratorium "on the issuing of permits allowing for wind turbine construction and development."
Endless Energy Corp. of Yarmouth is proposing the town annex the property to support a $180 million, 90-plus megawatt wind power project, Sugarloaf Community Wind Farm, on Redington and Black Nubble mountains. Under the proposal, customers would provide the capital for the project and benefit from lower energy costs, as stated in the company's proposal listed on the town's Web site. ...A similar project was denied by the Land Use Regulation Commission in 2007, but the difference is that this project proposes a community-based wind farm.
The Lincoln Planning Board used "ludicrous" arguments in shoehorning a proposed $130 million wind farm into its regulations, a Bar Harbor lawyer opposing the board's approval of the proposal contended Tuesday. Representing a group opposing the project, the Friends of Lincoln Lakes, attorney Lynne A. Williams filed an appeal with the Lincoln Appeals Board on Monday charging that First Wind's turbines do not belong in residential zones of Rollins Mountain, where the project is slated to go if it is approved by Maine Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies.
A residents group promised Tuesday to appeal a planning board decision approving a proposed $130 million wind farm that would create as many as 10 new jobs as much as 60 megawatts of electricity in peak winds. With member Heidi Stevens the sole dissenter, the board voted 6-1 during a meeting Monday to issue permits to First Wind of Massachusetts, which wants to build 40 massive 380-foot turbines, each generating 1½ megawatts on ridgelines in Burlington, Lincoln, Lee and Winn.
Planning board members approved a $500,000 office building connected to a proposed $130 million wind farm, but decided late Monday they needed another meeting to review the turbines. ...The project entails building 40 1.5-megawatt turbines on ridgelines in Burlington, Lincoln, Lee and Winn, with transmission lines in Mattawamkeag. It also needs approval by the other towns, Maine Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The planning board begins its review tonight of a proposed $130 million wind farm that, if approved, would deposit about 40 mammoth windmills on Rollins Mountain in four towns. First Wind of Massachusetts hopes to build 40 1½-megawatt windmills, each more than 300 feet tall, in Burlington, Lincoln, Lee and Winn, creating as much as 60 megawatts of electricity through Evergreen Wind Power, a First Wind subsidiary.
Selectman Bruce Cook has asked fellow board members to consider drawing up an ordinance to regulate wind turbines. The request comes on the heels of a proposal late this summer by Wesley Wentworth to place a municipal turbine somewhere on Pike's Hill. ...There was mixed reaction to the local proposal, which so far has not gotten off the ground. "I'd hate to see Pike's Hill covered with these things," said Cook, who had previously expressed concern about the looks of wind turbines there.
Residents will have the opportunity at the next annual town meeting to decide the fate of a citizens petition seeking a 180-day moratorium on the construction or processing of applications for wind power facilities. ...After the closed-door session ...the council voted to include the petitioners' warrant request at the next annual town meeting and to request that the petitioners submit a draft warrant item and draft moratorium ordinance by Dec. 31, and directed the town manager to assemble a list of people willing to participate in a study group to review the proposed ordinance and report to the Town Council and planning board.
The goal of any new laws would be to protect the property values of residents who may not want wind towers close to their homes, Village President Roger Day said. "Ecologically, they're a good thing," Day said. "They just have to be out of the way of where people are and where growth is happening." Boone County's quintessential wind farm case dates back to October 2005, when the Boone County Board first voted down a special-use permit for a 15-turbine project on farmland near Quail Trap and Ramsay roads. The no vote set off a back-and-forth legal battle that didn't end until July 2007, when a judge upheld the board's third and final vote - a rejection of the wind project.
There's nothing on the books about wind energy in York, but by next year that could change. The town hopes to get public input this month about a draft ordinance on small residential wind turbines during the first of a number of workshops, said Town Planner Christine Grimando. ...you don't want it to have a bad impact on the environment or the economy, the local tourism.
Following 90 minutes of discussion at Wednesday night's Planning Commission meeting, the only decision made by its three-member board was to reconvene discussion on Nov. 12 and continue it to Nov. 13 if needed. The commission comprised of planners Barry Bunten, Mark Henry and Randy Orr was tasked by selectmen with drafting an amendment to the 1993 comprehensive plan addressing renewable energy to allow wind power facilities in Roxbury.
The first draft of land-use rules to allow the installation of wind turbine towers was introduced to the planning board Oct. 15. The standards in the draft ordinance were set with the aim of making wind energy production possible for home and business owners ...Some board members said they would likely favor greater setbacks, largely because of potential noise generated by a turbine.
The Planning Board doesn't believe a moratorium on wind farms, or new regulations regarding massive wind turbines, are necessary, but other Maine and upstate New York towns disagree, a news survey revealed Wednesday. ...Board members readily admitted that they hadn't any experience dealing with wind turbines, but said it would be their responsibility to learn. Lincoln's land-use laws are comprehensive enough to make further regulations regarding wind farms unnecessary, Ireland said.
Planning Board Chairman Peter Phinney will review a proposed $120 million wind farm for Rollins Mountain when it is submitted, despite working for one of its benefactors, and the board will not pursue a moratorium that would delay the project. Board members made those decisions during a 2½-hour meeting at Mattanawcook Academy late Tuesday that likely previewed future hearings. Representatives from Wind farm proponent First Wind of Massachusetts and the Friends of Lincoln Lakes residents' group were among 40 people attending.
An Upper Pond resident says planning board chairman Peter Phinney should recuse himself from deliberations over a proposed $120 million wind farm because Phinney works for a landowner who likely stands to benefit from the project. Phinney said Monday he has no conflict of interest and will vote on the matter. ... That's why Rainer Egle, 45, of Russikon, Switzerland, who owns a camp and about 6 acres on Upper Pond, believes that Phinney should recuse himself from any deliberations on wind farm permits.
The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday appointed Planning Board members Barry Bunten, Mark Henry and Randy Orr to the local Planning Commission to address a deficiency in the town's comprehensive plan. With help from John Maloney of the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, the commission's job is to create a section on renewable energy.
Town officials are looking into developing an ordinance that will regulate wind turbines. The Planning Board will present a draft proposal to selectmen for consideration. Code Enforcement Officer Bob St. Pierre said the town manager asked him to see how other communities in the area were addressing wind turbines. "I got back to the Planning Board and Tim Coitrone spent some time writing up a draft that could be considered at a later date by the town if we wanted a windmill ordinance," St. Pierre said.
The footnote addresses a required Planning Board permit to locate wind-energy facilities in the mountain district. It states that wind-power facility use would be allowed if town planners received a Maine Department of Environmental Protection development permit. "In the absence of a DEP site location of development permit for the applicable use, a permit must be obtained from the (Roxbury) Planning Board for this site," the footnote states. At previous meetings, that has been interpreted to mean wind-power developers could bypass the state agency's permitting process.