A post from Gary Campbell:
Why doesn't the legislature just enact a "Cell Tower Act" they way the Baldacci administration did with the Wind Energy Act in 2008? They could rush it through as "emergency Legislation" even though it doesn't qualify as such, just like the Wind Energy Act.
The new "Cell Tower Act" could follow the general format of the WEA and incorporate current practice as present in Maine wind power development:
Whereas, cell towers provide significant benefits to the State of Maine;
Whereas, we believe it's important that Maine be #1 in the nation for cell towers and become known as "the Saudi Arabia of cell towers";
Whereas, the construction of cell towers have at times proven controversial;
Whereas, Maine needs a law that will allow and unlimited number of cell towers to be erected as fast as possible;
Whereas, the legislature deems a proliferation of cell towers as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
1) Open discussion of whether the proliferation of cell towers is good for Maine will not be tolerated.
2) All urban areas are automatically zoned for cell towers of any size and in any number. Cell tower projects will be expedited and will no longer be delayed by zoning discussions or public input.
3) There will be no mechanism for any urban area to remove itself from this "expedited cell tower development area".
4) This "Cell Tower Act" will apply to an infinite number of cell towers, without regard to their ever-increasing size and height.
5) A "Maine Cell Tower Initiative" will be created which will establish goals for the number of cell towers to be erected in the Expedited Cell Tower Permitting Area. Initial goals will be 2000 additional towers by 2015 and 3000 towers by 2020.
6) It will not be considered a conflict of interest for State and local officials to accept lucrative job offers from the cell tower developers.
Of course this is absurd... or is it?
WAKE UP, MAINE!
Southern Mainers often zealously support placing industrial wind turbines in people's backyards further up north. These are now topping 500'. But in southern Maine, many of these same southern Mainers are fighting 150' tall cell towers in their backyards tooth and nail. The cell towers are not only far smaller and quieter than wind turbines, but they also provide positive benefit to a public that demands and relies on cell phone coverage.
Hopefully having to deal with towers in their backyards as well as "blanket zoning" that allows their construction, will give southern Mainers a bit of perspective on the far more massive and far more useless wind turbines and new transmission lines thrust upon their friends to the north.
The proposed changes also increase the maximum tower heights from 100 feet to 150 feet.
While many residents want better coverage, others worry that new towers near residential neighborhoods could cause health problems and lower property values.
“We really believe (the towers) are commercial and industrial facilities and that’s why they’re zoned now for industrial areas,” said Elisa Boxer, a resident who said she is getting signatures on a petition in support of restrictions.
Boxer, who lives in the Pleasant Hill area, said she is among a group of residents who are concerned not only about the effect of towers on health and property values, but also with the way the town is addressing the issue.
“It’s just a really backwards way of doing it, to create a blanket zoning change that would allow multiple towers,” she said.
Verizon Wireless argued that the tower was needed to address a coverage gap, but residents said it would create noise, lower property values, increase traffic and have a negative visual impact on the neighborhood.
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Very good post. I think it is interesting that "everyone" wants wind unless it is their back yard. They are willing to spoil the towns and Unorgnized Territories where there are people willing to take bribes and promises from these wind giants and have no money to fight them. It is a lot easier pickings than going up against the money and political activity of Southern Maine. Antd it is also interesting to note the bent of politics in the South, and that of the North. Those in the South want it both ways.
Wow Gary Campbell, that is an awesome post.
Thanks Martha. That is interesting. I had not heard the part about the lawsuit.
Then Gov Blumenthal of Conn. sued Iso New England for 1 million dollars worth of power not produced. He lost at the Supreme Court level. The imaginary power was out of NY. First Wind used to say that the transmission lines would be in place by 2011. I think it was in their SEC reports. Gov. Blumenthal also said that he wasn't putting transmission lines all through Conn. for a few wind farms in upper state ME. Once the law suits start, a lot of criminal activity is going to come out re. First Wind and ME politics.
I would not be surprised if Cohocton still received energy credits even though their power went nowhere. White collar crime of the new age.
Not gonna' be so easy for southern ME. Cohocton wind farm in NY, built by First Wind, is also not on the grid. Locals found out all by themselves.Power might go to Canada though like Mars Hill. But whether the power goes to Canada or not ...some potential problems in southern ME.
1) what kind of imbeciles would build wind farms with no way to transport the power. Esp with the 20 year life expectancy of the turbines.
2) if it does go to Canada like Mars Hill, isn't this problematic for US taxpayers/ratepayers to support Canada.
3) tourism will be affected not just by the wind farms, but transmission lines.Maybe why it has taken so long to build them. All the secrets that could possibly come out. Maybe why the MPUC member said Mainers might lose trust in them.Brilliant deduction.
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