Letter to the Editor: LD 616 is about more than just wind
Because I was not aware of the loss of my rights when it occurred, I want to sound an alarm and educate my fellow Mainers.
The story is simple. In 2008, The Maine Wind Energy Act set a frightening precedent by including a provision for mapping select areas of the Unorganized Territories and designating those UTs as Expedited for Wind Permitting. That designation now gives one industry - and only one industry - special powers to apply for a permit in those Expedited Areas without undergoing the normal rezoning process under LUPC. A developer shall be granted a permit if they meet all the permit requirements, regardless of whether or not local citizens believe the development is suitable in those UTs. This is similar to telling organized towns they no longer can set zoning guidelines.
Six years has passed; a taxpayer funded study recommended developing a process for UTs to be removed from the Expedited Permitting Area; bills to correct this blatant disrespect for average citizens’ rights have been stalled in the Legislature where it has garnered bi-partisan support, all to no avail. The industry's lobbyists are a powerful force.