Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
Last spring, 10 members of a Brooksville ordinance committee settled on a proposal that would prohibit new wind power turbines with towers standing more than 100 feet tall. The proposal will now go to town voters for consideration during Tuesday's general election.
In the first ordinance, which was often referred to as an anti-wind ordinance, the setback for turbines was 5,280 feet. The second ordinance put forth had the setback at 3,000 feet. The latest draft has a setback of 4,000 feet.
The NPB proposal would limit commercial wind projects to the town's Resort Development District (Sunday River Ski Resort), which, when combined with other regulations and easements, would mean the only location eligible for such a project would be the top of the Skiway's Barker Mountain.
Safety setback items were also slimmed down in the ordinance. Initially, the ordinance had language that included setbacks for property lines and residential lines. Selectmen agreed to do away with the residential line language and only have a property line restriction. The safety setback language was changed to require a wind turbine to be 4,000 feet from a property line.
Burdo said that he was not against wind power when used to benefit the people in the area where it was being generated. However, he said, he objected to local wind generation of electricity that would go onto the grid and be sold out of state at lower rates than local people were paying.
A committee charged with creating a wind-power ordinance agreed Thursday night to have member Jeff Pfeifer rewrite the document to address their concerns. ..."I wrote it this long because this wind subject has already gotten ugly," Pfeifer said. "We could be open to a lot of attacks. I tried to make it as comprehensible as possible."
Town Manager Carlo Puiia said two proposed ordinances were defeated in November 2010 and June 2011. One was considered too restrictive by some and the other was considered not restrictive enough by others.
Residents decided Wednesday night to impose a 180-day halt on any wind power development in order to examine revising the town's rules regarding wind turbines. Caratunk has a wind power development ordinance, but residents decided 18-2 to rewrite it.
Town officials will now have to wait to hear from Boston-based wind developer First Wind if Tuesday's defeat kills their interest in still pursuing a $65 million wind farm on Rumford hills. The current moratorium on wind projects expires on July 25.
Authors of the first proposal and Selectmen Greg Buccina and Jeremy Volkernick claim the new ordinance caters to wind developers and won't protect the town. They are asking voters not to accept it, saying it needs to be reworked.
The finally step was taken tonight in the ordinance development processes before taking the Wind Energy Facilities Ordinance to the voters June 14. This attempt is expected to pass as it provides protections for the health, safety, and welfare of the Town of Rumford and its residents.
The Pisgah project is the first wind farm proposed in Clifton since a moratorium was lifted last year and wind farm rules were included in an updated land use ordinance, according to articles previously published in the Bangor Daily News.
The article asks, "Shall the town discuss options and methods of producing and implementing regulations for industrial wind power projects and all associated infrastructure with such projects as contained within the town boundaries?"
"It isn't anti-First Wind. It isn't even anti-wind. It's really to say there should be guidelines in place for how these things are constructed in town, where they're placed," Glunn said. The petition requests a town meeting so that residents can answer the following question: "Shall the town vote to place a 180 day moratorium on wind facility development in Bingham?"
"If you don't want a turbine, one will never occur within a mile of you," Piotti said. "Beyond that, any company would be required to meet noise and [shadow] flicker standards to keep the impact minimal." Selectman James Kenney noted the ordinance also makes provisions that "any reduction in property value will have to be addressed by the wind turbine owner."
Voters made sure of that Saturday at their annual Town Meeting when they overwhelming approved a 39-page ordinance that one of the document's crafters described as "fairly restrictive." "We err on the side of the protecting the landowner."
Selectmen James Kenney said residents who gather for town meeting at 10 a.m. at Unity Elementary School will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed ordinance that he said is written with the safety and health of townspeople in mind.
Residents in town discussed the wind energy facilities ordinance for about 20 minutes, with people speaking passionately for and against the draft that is one of the strictest in the state, and then residents resoundingly endorsed the measure.
The wind energy amendments were created to clarify issues and make the land use code tougher, Jellison said. "The thought here was to enact an even stricter standard," he said.
Without dissent or discussion, town meeting voters Monday night quickly approved a moratorium ordinance that will delay any wind-power project for 180 days.