Dixfield Planning Board discusses changes to wind ordinance

DIXFIELD — The Planning Board reviewed and discussed edits to the town's wind ordinance Thursday night at the Town Hall.

Before the workshop began, board member Tom Child made a motion to approve alternate board member Richard Pickett as a participating member for the workshop because Cindy Paine was absent.

Child said their duty was to “make any changes we see fit and make recommendations that we can place before the selectmen.” He also requested that any public participation be shelved until the next scheduled Planning Board meeting.

“There's so much to do and to get through tonight,” Child said. “Right now, this is just a workshop to go over the changes. Any comments from the public about the ordinance will be welcome during our regularly scheduled meeting on the 17th.”

The Planning Board addressed edits made to the ordinance by lawyer Kristen Collins and discussed whether or not they were acceptable. One area in the ordinance the board questioned is where Collins deleted a section stating wind turbines could not impede the “health, safety and quiet enjoyment of residents.” Instead, she replaced it with a sentence stating the wind turbines could not “create any unwanted noise.”

Child said the edit jumped out at him since he couldn't figure out why she simplified that particular sentence.

Pickett suggested they email her about the edit.

“She might have a legitimate reason for changing it that we're not aware of,” he said.

The Planning Board also discussed the fact that the town's Comprehensive Plan may need to be edited after the ordinance is voted through so that there are no contradictions between the two.

The discussion arose after Child noted that the ordinance gave instructions to check the Comprehensive Plan to see which areas in Dixfield are specified as “scenic or a special resource.” A Dixfield resident attending the meeting said that when the Comprehensive Plan was drawn up, it suggested that there may be scenic areas to protect, but it didn't designate any specific areas.

The Planning Board will meet again Jan. 17 to discuss the remainder of the wind ordinance.


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Norman Mitchell's picture

Must have a Completely New Comprehensive Plan

The area protected by the wind ordnance is completely opposite from the comp plan ! Complan directs commercial development close to village area , along rt 2/17 and 142 not the common road !! Commercial development size and scale with current development !! Land use MAP shows business area not in the area of the wind Farm !! Scenic Resources listed in com plan Web river Falls , Col Holman Mt, and Sugarloaf Mt ! Also under scenic view locations efforts should be made for permanent protection ! Also plan states under land use how we are so Lucy not to have experienced the type of strip commercial developments of other towns ! A whole new Comp Plan Must be written to comply with Wind Ordinance I have pointed just some of the Conflicts ! This new Planning Board has its work cut out for them Good Luck !!

Norman Mitchell's picture

Sugar Loaf mt

The sugar Loafs are the only site allowed for a wind farm under the comp plan !!!

Norman Mitchell's picture


Well wind would be allowed on the sugar loafs if they weren't a scenic resource as they are in the right location but the wind turbines are still not of a scale of current business in town !

Norman Mitchell's picture

Planning Board

I'm speaking as a person who served on the Planning board over a period of some 15 years ! Cindy Paine needs to be removed from this board she never attends the meetings as per PB by laws !! We need to have people on these boards that care about our town!! The comp plan is very clear about what is stated . I was one of the people who put the com plan together and I know what the intent was!! The PB cant change it without the vote of the people and the people have vote not to change it already! Therefore a vote to change the comp plan is redundant so that would leave the PB with the job of making the wind ordnance comply with the comp plan !! It is very plan about the description of scenic resources in the com plan ! Also Richard Picket a town employee has no business serving on any town board period !!! Vote in Nov 2010 Not to change comp plan and remove col Holman as a scenic resource to allow Turbines on that mt the vote was 516 to 451 not to change it !! Very clear 65 vote to protect the col the vote on the wind ordnance was a 651-622. at 29 vote to enact the wind ordnance the vote was to have regulated wind power in this town not wind power at any cost !!!

Dan McKay's picture

Thank you, members of the

Thank you, members of the Dixfield Planning Board for undertaking the task of reviewing the wind ordinance.


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