Dixfield Planning Board discusses changes to wind ordinance

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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.”

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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.

mdaigle@sunjournal.com

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