Vote on mountain ordinance Monday

BYRON — Residents will vote on whether to adopt a Mountain District Ordinance at a special town meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, at the Coos Canyon Schoolhouse.

At a well-attended public hearing on the ordinance last week, those who spoke opposed it because they believe it is too restrictive for continued mining and logging activities.

The intent of the ordinance is to prohibit wind project development. Residents overwhelmingly voted about two years ago to ban such projects by refusing to increase the current building structure height from 30 feet to a height that would allow turbines. Most turbines are at least 300 feet tall.

However, many now believe that a building height restriction may not govern wind turbine development.

Under the ordinance, mining and rock crushing would not be allowed above 1,600 feet. Others are concerned that traditional logging practices may be curtailed or restricted.

The ordinance states that its purpose is to preserve natural and traditional uses, to protect mountains and ridges from deforestation, blasting, road-building and other construction, and to protect the contours of the mountain and ridge tops.

Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds said at the hearing that if the ordinance is voted down, another reworked document will be presented at a later time.

The four-page ordinance has been reviewed by Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, the town's Planning Board and Board of Selectmen.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Keeping the Mountains Safe...

I encourage residents to approve the ordinance, and if they decide it needs to be tweaked or altered, to THEN rewrite it... keeping the mountains safe from development in the meantime. Two or three months could see a new, improved ordinance on the table... one which makes all residents feel that their natural resources AND their livelihoods are safe.

Respectfully,
Karen Pease
Lexington Township, Maine (another beautiful area that is being targeted by industrial wind.)

 's picture

Ordinance out the "Big Lie" of Big Wind!

For those who like scientific facts , look at First Wind's SEC filing on their electricity production. There has never been an independent cost benefit analysis done on wind capacity potential by anyone in this state, the data was provided by this company (if we call a Federal subsidy hedge scam a company).First wind can’t even get its self-serving pseudo-data close .They blame ,almost jokingly "' the Wind."
This is just too pathetic or laughable for even the worst cynic : it is borderline criminal, using our tax dollars poorly, and showing how scientifically challenged our state legislature has been on this issue to date.

From First Winds own SEC filing, see below

First, they aren't perfect:
Page 17:
We or our consultants may make mistakes in conducting these wind and other meteorological studies. Any of these factors could cause us to develop sites that have less wind potential than we expected, or to develop sites in ways that do not optimize their potential, which could cause the return on our investment in these projects to be lower than expected.

But they have picked locations with good winter winds:
Page 56:
For example, our projects in the Northeast tend to be sited in winter-peaking, storm-driven wind resources where a majority of the electricity production (and therefore REC production) occurs from October through March.

However, things haven't worked out as planned:
Page 68 - 70:
For 2009, energy production at Mars Hill was approximately 122,000 MWh ... due to below-average wind speeds in the region.
For 2009, energy production at Steel Winds was approximately 42,000 MW ... due to a combination of lower than expected turbine availability and below-average wind speeds in the region.
For 2009, energy production at Cohocton was approximately 204,000 MWh, ... due primarily to below-average wind speeds in the region and the planned ramp-up in turbine availability.
For 2009, energy production at Stetson I was approximately 139,000 MWh, ... due primarily to below-average wind speeds in the region
.For 2009, in which Milford I was operating for 46 days, energy production was approximately 40,000 MWh, ... due to a combination of below-average wind speeds in the region and the planned ramp-up in turbine availability.

So much for the theory of the wind always blowing somewhere!
Stop this stupidity, and now!
Ordinance them out!

 's picture

Protecting the Mountains above the Canyon...

I understand residents' concerns about the possibility of restricting traditional uses of the land, and I'm sure the planning board can tweak any ordinance to make it workable for the town. My fear would be that if this ordinance is voted down, a wind developer could submit a permit application before a new ordinance is enacted... and I believe (though not sure...) that the town would have to apply whatever zoning was currently in place when it considered the application.

I'm not familiar with whether or not a moratorium is in place in Byron which would protect the town until a new ordinance could be drafted? I hope so, for their sakes.

Respectfully,
Karen Pease, Lexington Township, Maine

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