Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
Residents of Brighton Plantation are finding out that wind energy might not be as efficient or green an alternative to fossil fuels as they previously may have thought. Karen Pease of Friends of Highland Plantation came to address the citizens at the small town meeting with a large turnout Saturday morning. "We are not anti wind. We are for the responsible placement of wind turbines, if such a thing exists...
With no discussion and little fanfare, Thorndike residents voted at Saturday morning's annual town meeting to adopt a comprehensive, strict wind energy ordinance, which would require mile-long setbacks between wind turbine towers and homes. ...With the vote, Thorndike joins the nearby towns of Dixmont and Jackson in adopting ordinances that give towns high levels of control.
The industry was passive on setbacks in the early days of siting the towers and turbines. Communities relied on ordinances adapted from other industrial projects, or took the word of developers. That was a mistake. Most notably in Mars Hill, where the state's first major wind power project was built, residents tell horror stories about not being able to sleep. ...Better data is needed, and it is needed soon.
The town of Union is in the process of drafting a proposed wind energy ordinance and will hold a public meeting to gather feedback on the issue. The town may even impose a temporary moratorium on wind power facilities to give it time to establish regulations, according to a press release issued by the town Feb. 9. The town has scheduled a public hearing on the draft wind energy facility regulations.
Voters in Jackson Saturday approved a wind development ordinance. The vote was 111 Yes, 75 No. The proposed ordinance includes regulations for noise levels and setbacks from property lines.
A proposed small wind energy ordinance may be headed back to the Windham Planning Board for additional review and another public hearing. ...The proposed draft required that all new windmills would have to be a distance of 1.1 times the height of the structure from the nearest lot line, with a maximum height of 60 feet. However, the draft contained provisions to allow waivers for taller structures that generated more than 20 kW of power if the builder went before the planning board.
Bethel will approach neighboring towns about a regional approach to wind power regulation, selectmen decided Monday. The idea came out of a discussion at Monday's board meeting on establishing a committee to study and hold hearings on wind energy. "Does it really make sense to have a local wind ordinance?"
The public will have its first opportunity to comment on the proposed municipal commercial wind energy facility ordinance during a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the town office. A little over a year in the making, the proposed ordinance grew out of discussions surrounding the potential of a large-scale wind farm running through this northern Maine town.
Two petitions have been presented to selectmen here recently, one seeking to force a vote on the wind turbine ordinance drafted by the planning board and the other asking selectmen to draft an alternative ordinance. ..."They want options," said Dennison of the people who signed on to the second petition.
A proposed ordinance that would regulate wind turbines in town received a mostly warm reception when it was presented to residents at a public hearing Nov. 19. ...The ordinance contains a number of specific setbacks - the distance between a wind turbine and a particular reference point, such as a property line - with regard to noise and other concerns. The summary handout said the setbacks are designed to "balance the needs of wind turbine owners or developers and nearby residents."
"If you looking at at wind turbines, some people complain about visual pollution, but the real challenge is the price, and the winds are not reliable," she added. "Solar's expensive as well." According to the Dixmont planning board director, the final vote was 229 Yes, and 78 No. Andrew Price, a partner with the wind company, says he believes the new ordinance is the most restrictive in the state and essentially bans any kind of wind project in Dixmont.
Two years ago, a company started looking into the potential for placing wind turbines along Mt. Harris in Dixmont. Since then, local residents have been talking about what that could mean for them-- and Thursday, the issue comes to a vote. Mt. Harris Wind had plans to build about ten turbines along this ridge in Dixmont, says project partner Andrew Price.
Wind turbines are a permitted use in town, but there's hardly anything on the books to regulate the devices, according to town officials. Article 2, Question 2, on the November referendum would change all that. "People are talking about (wind turbines) so we should have something out there to guide it," said Code Enforcement Officer Jodine Adams, who noted two turbines are already up and running in town. The Wells municipal code minimally addresses wind turbines, she said, but the proposed ordinance would establish a slew of guidelines that aren't yet addressed in town law.
A resident's petition asking the town to approve a 180-day moratorium on wind power development was found sufficient by selectmen Tuesday night. There were 115 valid signatures on the petition. The decision on whether to hold a referendum at the polls or a special town meeting to vote on the issue was tabled until all members of the Board of Selectmen are present. James Parker's petition says that the full impact of wind turbines has not been fully explored.
Residents will have a chance Monday to learn about and ask questions on a proposed moratorium ordinance on potential wind farm development. ...The proposed ordinance was prompted by a tentative proposal by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., to construct eight to 20 wind turbines along the ridge that includes Colonel Holman Mountain.
By a 3-1 vote at Thursday night's meeting, selectmen decided not to convene a special town meeting to allow residents to vote on a petition-initiated moratorium of 180 days on any development of wind farms on town hills. Their reasoning? Acting Chairman Frank DiConzo and Selectmen Mark Belanger and Robert Cameron all agreed that no emergency exists to warrant slowing the process.
The town is poised to become Maine’s first municipality to enact guidelines aimed at eliminating adverse impacts allegedly caused by industrial wind sites, Town Manager Dale Morris said Wednesday. Intended for First Wind’s $120 million wind-to-energy facility proposed for Oakfield Hills, the guidelines set a post-construction protocol for noise complaints and require post-construction sound monitoring, Morris said. They also require First Wind to fix problems that occur, he said.
The only proposed amendment generating pubic comment, though, was one that would govern wind turbines, which would be allowed at heights of up to 60 feet for residential use and 80 feet for non-residential use. "It would give folks the opportunity to do something (with wind power), but also have constraints," said Board Chairman Kevin Cochary.
A proposed ordinance amendment that would increase height restrictions and allow smaller wind turbines in town will be the subject of a public hearing at Tuesday's meeting of the Planning Board. Draft amendment language would allow "a small wind energy installation" of up to 80 feet, with approval granted by the town's codes enforcement office, Town Planner Kris Hulstedt said Tuesday. Larger installations would be allowed only with a special permit from the Planning Board.
AMWELLS - Rooftop wind turbines could soon be part of a working draft of a proposed wind-power system ordinance being developed by the Ordinance Review Committee.