While the Maine Department of Environmental Protection issues permits for wind projects, the state’s standards and protections are weak. But once a wind project permit is granted, you cannot protect yourself.......
Communities that were not proactive on wind zoning have gone through hell when Big Wind suddenly came to town, pitting neighbor against neighbor, driving deep wedges and dividing communities. Big Wind is a dirty, ugly business that has driven Maine people from their homes, ruined property values, and decimated communities.
It’s much better to plan.
Since it’s now town meeting season, why not take the initiative right now? Contact your local officials and let them know you want to be prepared. Show up at town meeting and make it an issue.
Good news: there’s no need to re-invent the wheel. Dozens of Maine communities have adopted a wind ordinance. Some simply wrote their own, others used a bare-bones template provided by the State Planning Office. (That is a good starting point, but no town should adopt the state's version as-is.) Some of the best written wind ordinances are in little towns like Sumner, Thorndike, Phillips and Buckfield. See the list HERE, many with live links to the actual ordinance, or relevant news stories.
All Money issues must go before the town each annual meeting. FACT and this would be a money issue effecting the amount of taxes or monies available for distribution to projects. I believe that is in Maine Statute.
The ability of the Board to do this must be a warrant item to get approval. Otherwise it would need to be a petition. This authorization would need to be renewed each year or as new selectboard members change. Who knows what the next elected butthead may be, a known embezzler? I would check with an attorney if you can, or start a movement to prevent giving that authority....
Just an update on the folly of Clifton, Maine. On the 18th of Feb. at a special town meeting, one month before the annual town meeting, the Select Board convinced the voters to approve authorizing the Select Board to write and rewrite and administer TIF's for the next 30 years without coming to the voters for approval. One exception, if the credit enhancement agreement with the developer, the tax refunded to said developer, was more than 50% of the tax or the agreement was for longer than 5 years. You can fool some of the people all of the time.........
Getting an ordinance, whatever type is all important. Monson ME. used their land use ordinance governing mining for their slate quarries and tunnels. There may be already in existence within each community an ordinance that Wind could be worked into. (just an example of one towns approach)
I know you are speaking from experience, Penny. Town after town in Western Maine has seen neighbor pitted against neighbor with money the center point for those in favor of projects. How little consideration they have for those they ask to live under the shadows of these machines and how little empathy they show for the fixed and low income folks that pay an increasing amount on their electric bills to adorn these money pits.
The time to get the ordinance written is BEFORE the selectmen and landowners have been bought off.
The wind industry and their co-conspirators in the Maine environmental groups publish poll results saying that most people favor clean low cost renewable energy. (By the way it's not clean or low cost). They do this to create the aura of inevitably - "resistance is futile". Such is the lifeblood of their PR efforts.
Reality is quite different because in over 90% of municipalities where a protective wind ordinance is put before voters, the wind ordinance passes. In other words, most fair minded people who have taken even a brief moment to consider the countless negatives of this fraudulent power source resoundingly decide they do NOT favor wind.
Unfortunately, the media never publish such a summary of ordinance votes or delve into the complete disconnect between these real life polls and the wind industry's rigged polls. But they never fail to prominently publish the wind industry's propaganda, replete with lies, half-truths and intentional omissions.
If a Rights Based Ordinance, which is a non-regulatory ordinance is used it may require the 180 days or more to get the wording correct to stand in a court. The Standard ordinance is Regulatory and can be striken with an act of the legislature such as the shifting of authority and rule changes.
--(an ordinance option)--
The RBO ordinance is rooted in the constitutions of the State and the Nation and without a complete overhaul of the 2nd, 9th and 10th amendments at the same time, can not be denied by a law enactment. It is hard for people to understand the differences, but we still have the ability to write an ordinance based on the Structure of the constitution. The state can always protect to a higher level than an RBO but can never deny that minimum level of protection the RBO provides. Sangerville and Parkman ME. Both passed an RBO against the EWC establishment. It pushed the current MEPCO proposal of a transmission line south. A transmission line that is being built to establish a Corridor across Maine. A corridor that can someday include gas or highway or other utility items.
Good points Eric. Even when towns don't "prohibit" wind as a land use, they can write a protective enough ordinance such that no prospective wind developer would bother to try. A moratorium prohibits the acceptance of an application, and that's a valuable "pause." But now, with all those ordinances right there for comparison, towns seeking to write an ordinance no longer need 180 days to figure it out.
I agree.... Get those ordinances in place. You may need to enact a Moratorium for 180 days (legal limit) but you as a community can extend the Moratoriums 180 days each every 180 days so long as progress on the work can be shown. Unrelated, is an example of power not consumed by the state, in the recent Marijuana law in that each community can decide whether or not to prohibit the sale via establishments authorized by the state. Similar to dry communities. This is power of the communities that the state does not claim. Communities if they act first, retain that right to prohibit wind turbines. If challenged, the community holds legal standing and gains an upper hand.
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