Dixfield: Petition seeks to zone out wind power

DIXFIELD — Selectmen accepted a petition from opponents of a wind turbine project Monday night that seeks to ban such development through the establishment of zoning.

Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said Tuesday afternoon that the petition question will likely appear on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

That question will appear on the same ballot as a proposed wind ordinance, which is being created by Selectmen Norine Clark and Steve Donahue.

When residents Dan McKay and Freemont Tibbetts circulated the petition last month, more than 250 signatures were gathered, said McKay.

McKay said in an e-mail that the petition asks voters to create an ordinance that would prohibit industrial development, except logging operations and communication towers, above 1,000 feet elevation in the areas of the Colonel Holman Mountain range and Sugarloaf Mountain.

He further said that he hopes to set up regular public meetings so that Dixfield residents may “obtain or relay information about wind turbines and their implications to the River Valley.”

Skibitsky said if the petition question is passed in November, either selectmen or the Planning Board would likely be required to write a zoning ordinance that would cover the entire town, which in turn would have to be acted on by residents at another special town meeting.

“A zoning ordinance can be simple or very complicated. It would have to treat the whole town,” Skibitsky said.

Patriot Renewables LLC, Quincy, Mass., has proposed constructing a 20-megawatt project on the Colonel Holman Mountain range, which could mean installing from seven to 14 wind turbines, depending on the size of the turbines.

The wind energy company is currently making plans for a similar project in neighboring Carthage and in Woodstock.

Patriot Renewables’ representative Tom Carroll also attended Monday’s board meeting to introduce himself to the board’s two new members, Katherine Harvey and Malcolm Gill. Carroll has staffed an informational site at the former Holmes Market for several months.

The town’s wind moratorium, which will have been in effect for a year, expires in October.

A public hearing on the town’s proposed wind ordinance will be held sometime prior to the November election.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Lisa Lindsay's picture

Sorry

I have no idea why that posted three times!! Feel free to remove two. :)

Lisa Lindsay's picture

Cumulative Effect

Queen, I'm sure your heart is in the right place. Many in this fight felt the same way you did. But it's not just one wind project. It's not just Woodstock or just Carthage. Wind companies want to take vast swaths of undeveloped woods, streams, habitat, mountaintops and put huge turbines on the highest points. That's fragmentation and a total lack of respect for nature and the citizens who reside nearby. And they want to do this not on just one peak, but many. No one really knows what the cumulative effect would be to people and wildlife and tourism and ecosystem. The wind companies don't know (and I assure you they do not care about anything but the money) and the DEP doesn't know. And if they do know, they won't tell you. Try asking them a direct question at a meeting and see if you can get an answer that's not on their stale PowerPoint presentation. On top of which, your desire to be green is not going to be fulfilled with these projects. They're not going to stop the next oil spill. I wish it were true.

Drive 'em off the land.

Lisa Lindsay's picture

Cumulative Effect

Queen, I'm sure your heart is in the right place. Many in this fight felt the same way you did. But it's not just one wind project. It's not just Woodstock or just Carthage. Wind companies want to take vast swaths of undeveloped woods, streams, habitat, mountaintops and put huge turbines on the highest points. That's fragmentation and a total lack of respect for nature and the citizens who reside nearby. And they want to do this not on just one peak, but many. No one really knows what the cumulative effect would be to people and wildlife and tourism and ecosystem. The wind companies don't know (and I assure you they do not care about anything but the money) and the DEP doesn't know. And if they do know, they won't tell you. Try asking them a direct question at a meeting and see if you can get an answer that's not on their stale PowerPoint presentation. On top of which, your desire to be green is not going to be fulfilled with these projects. They're not going to stop the next oil spill. I wish it were true.

Drive 'em off the land.

Lisa Lindsay's picture

Cumulative Effect

Queen, I'm sure your heart is in the right place. Many in this fight felt the same way you did. But it's not just one wind project. It's not just Woodstock or just Carthage. Wind companies want to take vast swaths of undeveloped woods, streams, habitat, mountaintops and put huge turbines on the highest points. That's fragmentation and a total lack of respect for nature and the citizens who reside nearby. And they want to do this not on just one peak, but many. No one really knows what the cumulative effect would be to people and wildlife and tourism and ecosystem. The wind companies don't know (and I assure you they do not care about anything but the money) and the DEP doesn't know. And if they do know, they won't tell you. Try asking them a direct question at a meeting and see if you can get an answer that's not on their stale PowerPoint presentation. On top of which, your desire to be green is not going to be fulfilled with these projects. They're not going to stop the next oil spill. I wish it were true.

Drive 'em off the land.

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

No wind turbines in Dixfield

In the 1700's Immanuel Kant proposed a procedure for determining if an action was ethical or not. He wrote - imagine that everyone took the action you intend. If the result would be good, then take your action. If the results are bad, the action is unethical. Would a 400 ft wind turbine on every hill in Maine have good results or bad. I conclude that the result would be bad for tourism, forests, mountains, birds, wildlife, and people who make a living from any of the above or people living near the turbines. This unconstrained wind development is bad for Maine. But well planned development in limited areas where the downside is minimal and the upside significant might be possible. But that can't be done town by town. Has to be done statewide. And if its not going to be done, then no wind turbines in Dixfield.

Mike DiCenso's picture

The ordinance must be

The ordinance must be specific because the wind lawyers will pick it apart for loopholes, but it is a good idea. Lincoln zoned the Rollins project rural residential with no building more than 40 ft. high. First Wind ignored the rules and went ahead anyway with the complicity of the Town Council , Planning Board and Appeals Board who were also in on the scheme. The few who were trying to be responsible were overrun by the crooks. Industrial wind turbines would belong in the industrial zone. RR is for dwellings. It is not a difficult concept. Good luck. Save the mtns, big and small.

Melissa  Dunn's picture

such a shame :(

such a shame :(

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