Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
Selectmen decided at Tuesday night's board meeting to wait 60 days from June 23 before rendering their decision on a petition that seeks to rescind previously approved town laws allowing wind power facilities to be built on town ridges. Responding to lawyer Maura Horodyski's question about the petition and the board's response, Chairman Bob Sutton said they agreed to have lawyer Jennifer Kreckel of Rumford review the petition before they decide whether to follow its intent.
Petitioners have garnered enough signatures to put the issue of a tower to measure wind power on Mollyockett Mountain to a vote at the annual town meeting on Monday, Aug. 10. At a special town meeting on June 24, voters rejected by 5 votes a proposal to authorize the town to spend $11,000 to survey and clear land for the possible siting of the tower. The petition had 56 signatures.
For a few tense moments, Monday, it appeared as if Buckfield was going to get a wind farm, ready or not. Kirk Nadeau presented plans to put three wind turbines atop Streaked Mountain, after which the planning board mulled its options, including how to amend and /or draft local ordinances to deal with the development.
Two weeks ago, Jackson selectmen voted to extend a six-month moratorium on issuing permits for industrial wind developments, but the vote was nullified when town officials found that a public hearing on the issue was required. On June 30, the board convened a pro forma public hearing and made the extension official.
The Planning Board voted 5-0 Tuesday night to approve rezoning that would allow anemometer towers to be erected in most areas of Portland. The decision means that plans for two projects, floated earlier this year, will be able to move forward if the City Council endorses the board's recommendation and the Zoning Board of Appeals grants approval.
The Board of Selectmen has decided to extend the town's moratorium on wind-energy projects for another six months. The board granted the 180-day extension Tuesday night after meeting with members of the planning board and the subcommittee that drafted a proposed ordinance governing wind-energy applications. The extension is aimed at giving the planning board the necessary time to review the proposed wind-power ordinance.
The Maine Senate took a lopsided initial vote Monday to deny Carrabassett Valley the right to move forward with a plan to annex Redington Township. Senators voted 29-6 against it, in a reversal of the State and Local Government Committee vote, which approved the measure.
A Lincoln-based property owner's group is appealing a Maine Department of Environmental Protection permit issued for a $130 million industrial wind site on Rollins Mountain in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn. The Friends of Lincoln Lakes charges in the appeal that DEP officials and project applicant First Wind of Massachusetts failed to fully consider the impact that noise, vibrations and light flicker generated by the 40-turbine wind farm would have on humans and wildlife.
The ruling upheld the findings of Freedom's code enforcement officer Jay Guber, dismissing an appeal by Steve Bennett and two other residents with land abutting the three-turbine Beaver Ridge Wind development. The suit claimed that developers Beaver Ridge Wind had not "substantially commenced" work on the project when a six-month building permit expired Dec. 26, 2007.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued First Wind of Massachusetts a permit Tuesday to build a 40-turbine industrial wind site for $130 million on Rollins Mountain in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn. "The Department finds that the applicant has demonstrated that the proposed project will provide significant tangible benefits to the host community and surrounding area,".
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.