Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
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.
Under the law, areas in expedited wind-permitting zones can be removed from those zones by petitions signed by at least 10 percent of a given registered zone’s voters in the most recent gubernatorial election.
The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Monday evening to table a vote on whether to place the amended Wind Energy Facility Ordinance on the annual town meeting warrant next June. ...At its last meeting, the Planning Board voted 3-2 against recommending the amended ordinance, Davis said.
By a vote of 32-6, voters passed an exhaustive set of rules for wind turbines Nov. 17 including setbacks that would have blocked the three-turbine wind farm on Beaver Ridge had they existed in 2008. The 40-page Town of Freedom Wind Energy Ordinance notably requires setbacks of 13 times the turbine height for three larger classes of windmills, which translates to close to a mile for a 400-foot industrial wind turbine.
The Board of Selectmen is expected to decide Dec. 14 how to proceed with bringing a Wind Energy Facility Ordinance to voters next June, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Tuesday. It would be the fourth time in over three years that residents have cast ballots on the measure to regulate wind power development.
The Board of Selectmen voted 5-0 Monday to have Belfast lawyer Kristen Collins draft language on sound limits for the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance. At its Aug. 25 meeting, the board voted to accept a citizens' petition requesting the ordinance include the complete Maine Department of Environmental Protection sound level limits, which are 42 decibels for nighttime and 55 decibels for daytime.
After a recent moratorium and almost a decade of informal proposals for wind turbines, the Fort Fairfield Town Council approved a new wind ordinance Wednesday with a one-mile setback from nonparticipating landowners, noise abatements and viewshed protections.
The major feature of the ordinance is a requirement that wind turbines be set back one mile from residences. Neighboring towns adopted this standard as a precaution against noise and shadow nuisances like those reported by some Freedom residents. Developers and wind energy advocates have said the mile setback amounts to a ban, given the population density of the area.
Langley, who along with others on the committee visited Mars Hill, said the proposed one-mile setback would largely prevent “shadow flicker,” the rotating shadows cast by the blades turning in the sun. ...Langley said, average noise levels at the edge of a proposed turbine’s participating property line would be measured before development, as a baseline, and noises from the eventual operating turbine could only increase by five decibels.
Puiia said officials received a citizens' petition asking that the defeated ordinance be amended with the Department of Environmental Protection sound standards and be brought to another vote. Planning Board member Lauren Hebert said he saw the DEP sound standards as “a blank check.” “It gives them the right to come in here and impose their will on us,” Hebert said.
The Maine Legislature passed a bill Monday that would give residents of the state’s vast Unorganized Territory a chance – one chance – to have their communities excluded from the area of Maine designated for large wind power projects.
residents narrowly voted to repeal the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance and replace it with the Planning Board’s original draft. ...Discussions between some residents and the Board of Selectmen were contentious in the days leading up to Tuesday’s vote after Tom Carroll, project coordinator for Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., said that the ordinance’s 35 decibel nighttime limit would likely prohibit a wind farm in Dixfield.
An attorney has advised selectmen that sound limits in the town's revised Wind Energy Facility Ordinance are "pretty low" compared to others she has reviewed.
The stage is set for lawmakers once again to weigh in on how to address concerns of residents in the Unorganized Territory that a landmark 2008 law stole from them the ability to participate in decisions on wind energy development in their proverbial backyards. ...While developers must still obtain the approval of the state Department of Environmental Protection before breaking ground on a new turbine, the elimination of the zoning process removed from the UT residents the ability to weigh in, to say if they didn’t want wind towers in their communities.
ORLAND — The town Planning Board is continuing a review of the rules that govern any proposed wind power projects, although board members are still trying to determine the nature of that review
The Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 Monday evening to postpone a vote to approve the most recent draft of the town's Wind Energy Facility Ordinance for the June 9 referendum until the Planning Board can address the concerns of a group of residents.
Is the prospect of having 14 wind turbines in your community worth receiving nearly $2 million in town coffers over the next two decades? That’s the question residents of Osborn will be considering this month, as First Wind pitches a three-prong community benefits package as part of its planned third wind farm in Hancock County.
The Board of Selectmen voted Monday evening to extend the moratorium on wind energy projects for another six months. The extension gives the town time to finish revising the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance.
In the last couple weeks, the Friends of Dodge Hill have been rallying for the moratorium. After the vote, organizer Nikki Fox wrote in an email that she’s “heartbroken” it came within five votes of passing. While she trusts the ballots were counted properly, Fox said she’ll be calling for a recount. According to Town Clerk Connie Brown, that’s allowed.