ROXBURY – Ninety-two people signed a petition that asks selectmen to convene a special town meeting vote to rescind previously approved changes to town law allowing wind power facilities, according to Town Clerk Nina Hodgkins.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, selectmen accepted both the petition and a letter from Record Hill Wind LLC principal and former Maine governor Angus King.
Record Hill has proposed to site 22 wind power turbines on Roxbury hills. The project is currently undergoing review by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The petition seeks to amend the comprehensive plan by deleting all language and sections referring to wind power that were added by a majority vote at a special town meeting on Jan. 15.
The petition also asks the town to amend its land use ordinance by dissolving the new Mountain District zone – which allows wind power facilities – and, to disallow wind energy facilities as a permitted use.
Additionally, the petition asks that wind energy facilities be further defined as industrial structures.
The Jan. 15 tallies were 89-81 to amend the comprehensive plan to allow wind generation facilities in Roxbury and 87-80 to create a mountain district zone to designate areas suitable for erecting wind energy facilities.
This vote followed both a 180-day moratorium during which both Record Hill and anti-wind power group Concerned Citizens to Save Roxbury held informational meetings, and the first vote favoring the changes.
The letter by King, who attended the meeting, asked Selectmen John Sutton, Deborah DeRoche and Mike Worthley, to refuse to call the special town meeting to force a third straight vote on the issue.
“The opponents to the project have had every opportunity to convince a majority of Roxbury’s voters that they should oppose it, but when the votes were counted, they twice failed to do so,” King wrote on Monday.
“To require yet another vote is not fair to the majority who have patiently attended these meetings and expressed their will, or to us,” he said.
King said Record Hill Wind had incurred $1.2 million in direct expenses and financial commitments in the last six months in “good faith reliance” on the Jan. 15 vote.
Citing the case law of Dunston vs. Town of York, 590 A2nd 596 (1991), King said the decision in that case gives selectmen legal authority to refuse to accept the petition-proposed warrant item.
He said it also means the board doesn’t have to act on the petition and, cannot re-vote the issue.
Reading from the case ruling, King wrote, “The court said, ‘We have previously held that once a third party has acquired vested rights or acted to their detriment in reliance on a legally authorized vote, the town may not reconsider that original vote.'”
King used the “third party” reference to indicate Independence Wind, the wind power company he formed with partner and Record Hill Wind principal Robert Gardiner.
“Our expenditures in reliance upon the January vote appear to put us squarely within this rule and only underline the unfairness of authorizing another vote at this late date,” King wrote.
In closing, King asked the board to “exercise your discretion and good judgment” and dismiss this petition and others like it and to allow them to proceed with the project, pending DEP approval.
Town Clerk Hodgkins said the board is expected to render a decision on the petition at its next regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, in the town office.
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