Plains Road, seen Tuesday afternoon, divides Hillandale Farms Conn in Turner. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

TURNER — Voters will elect officers Friday and gather Saturday to decide on whether to rezone Hillandale’s poultry farm and adopt a revised solar ordinance.

Polls will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Town Office at 9 Turner Center Road. The annual town meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Leavitt Area High School cafeteria at 21 Matthews Way.

Hillandale Farms Conn has requested its poultry farm at 272 Plains Road be rezoned from agricultural/industrial to rural 1, which allows for farming and residential uses but must maintain the rural character. The only uses allowed now are poultry farming or those that can coexist with poultry farming. No new residential developments are allowed except to provide employee housing.

The company recently listed more than 600 acres of its 1,600-acre farm for sale. It believes it will be more marketable if it is rezoned.

The farm has significantly scaled back its egg production over roughly the past decade. Company leaders have said that while production will continue now, it could cease operations in the future. It uses about 300 to 400 acres and has 480,000 birds, down from the 2.3 million almost a decade ago.

Town officials are proposing another solar farm ordinance this year after residents rejected last year’s and adopted a 180-day moratorium on new projects. That moratorium expired without the Select Board voting to extend it.


The new proposal better defines where solar farms can be located and establishes setback and visual buffering requirements. It’s an effort to address public concern about development of commercial solar farms. Now, commercial solar farms are reviewed under the standards for public utilities in the town Zoning Ordinance.

Proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan include adding a section about alternative energy in light of solar farm development interest, according to Town Manager Kurt Schaub. Androscoggin Riverlands State Park was placed in its own zone because the state controls changes and limitations on the use of that land. Other parts of the Comprehensive Plan, including the application of state shoreland standards, were removed.


The proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance for affordable housing are to comply with new state standards to encourage more affordable housing developments in communities, according to Schaub. The town was in compliance with many of the new state standards but one thing that would change is zoning around accessory dwelling units.

It would permit secondary housing units on single-family housing lots to be constructed for anyone, he said. Existing zoning only allows secondary housing units to be used for a close family member. The new measure would apply to all zones but it would still be subject to certain lot requirements pertaining to matters like septic systems.

Voters will have two options for the municipal budget, and the difference between them is $994.


The Budget Committee recommendation is $3,827,584 and the Selectmen recommend $3,828,578.

The overall increase is roughly 7.5%, according to Schaub, driven largely by the capital improvement budget.

Roughly 7% of property tax bills goes to the town, while the rest goes to the Androscoggin County and Maine School Administrative District 52 budgets. The county is asking for $871,658 for 2024-25, roughly an 8.5% increase compared to last year’s $803,016. The school budget has not yet been approved.


Four people are seeking two, three-year school board seats. Incumbent Jessaka Nichols is seeking reelection, while Director Tammy Fereshetian is not. Other candidates are Alex Cutter, Ashley Michaud and Amanda Peralta.

Selectmen Kevin Nichols and Kurt Youland are running unopposed for three-year terms.

There are no candidates for four seats on the Budget Committee.

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