September 12, 2008
Wind-Power Amendment Draws Heat in Roxbury
By Terry Karkos
ROXBURY - The Planning Board agreed Thursday to consider a proposed zoning change to allow wind towers on town hills.The ordinance change would create a mountain district comprising portions of Record Hill, Flathead Mountain, Mine Notch, Partridge Peak and North and South Twin mountains at or above an elevation of 1,500 feet.
The project is proposed by Independence Wind LLC principals Robert Gardiner and former Gov. Angus King.
The amendment would clarify an earlier proposal's footnote that local wind-power opponents have questioned at past meetings, Gardiner said.
The footnote addresses a required Planning Board permit to locate wind-energy facilities in the mountain district. It states that wind- power facility use would be allowed if town planners received a Maine Department of Environmental Protection development permit.
"In the absence of a DEP site location of development permit for the applicable use, a permit must be obtained from the (Roxbury) Planning Board for this site," the footnote states.
At previous meetings, that has been interpreted to mean wind- power developers could bypass the state agency's permitting process.
Gardiner suggested that planners change the footnote to read that wind-power facility use would be allowed on presentation to the Planning Board of a DEP development permit, "in which case the site location of development permit will constitute the Planning Board permit required under this ordinance."
"This makes it really plain, I think, that whatever DEP writes in a permit, this gives the town immediate enforceable authority," Gardiner said. "If we didn't have a DEP permit, we'd have to come before you."
Originally published by Staff Writer.
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