FREEDOM (Jan 10): As many as 30 town residents have signed on to an effort to overturn the recent planning board decision to approve a $12 million wind power project on Beaver Ridge, according to one of the opponents.
Steven Bennett, who owns land abutting the site of the proposed project, said a formal appeal of the decision was filed Saturday.
Addison Chase, chairman of the five-member Freedom Board of Appeals, said the board would hold an organizational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, in the town office. Among the issues to be discussed are whether to ask the board of selectmen to hire an attorney to advise the appeals board, and when to start hearings on the appeal of the Beaver Ridge decision.
The appeals board meets infrequently in Freedom. “Maybe once a year,” said Chase.
According to Chase, paperwork in his possession lists the appellants as Steve and Judy Bennett, Jason Wade and Erin Bennett-Wade.
In a brief conversation Monday evening, Bennett said 25-30 Freedom residents had agreed to join the appeal.
Bennett objected to newspaper stories that referred to him as a Freedom selectman. “I am taking this action as an abutter and a taxpayer,” he said.
Bennett referred other questions about the matter to Bangor lawyer Edmond Bearor, who is representing the appellants. Bearor was said to be out of town until the end of the week.
A Jan. 4 letter Bearor sent to Chase stated the planning board improperly found, without sufficient evidence in the record, that the project would meet noise, storm water, fire suppression and other standards in the town’s recently enacted Commercial Development Review ordinance.
In addition, wrote Bearor, the planning board “failed to demonstrate sufficient right title and interest in the area between the end of Sibley Road and the development site, and failed to demonstrate that the project would not adversely affect the scenic or natural beauty of the area.”
Based in Belfast, Copy Editor Andy Kekacs can be reached at 207-338-0484 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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