After two weeks off, the appeals board is set to resume deliberations on a proposed wind turbine project tonight.
The board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. at the Freedom Congregational Church. Arguments have closed, freeing the board to begin the process of wading through information and voting on the issues addressed by appellant Steve Bennett and others whose property abuts the site of the proposed turbines.
“I’m hoping we can get to the point where we have motions and votes,” said Addison Chase, chairman of the appeals board.
The board must decided whether Bennett and his attorney, Edmond Bearor, successfully argued that the project fails to meet the town’s ordinance standards in several areas, including noise, storm water management and fire suppression.
The board must give detailed reasons for its decision in each area broached by the appellants, Chase said. If the board finds the project fails to meet town standards in any area the planning board’s original approval would be overturned.
The appeals board has a self-imposed deadline of 10:30 p.m. Chase hopes to complete the process tonight or, if needed, when the board convenes again at 7 p.m. on March 15.
The board will likely be working without member Mike Smith throughout the remainder of the deliberations, Chase said. Smith’s job has called him away for an extended period. With four members, three votes are needed to pass a motion, Chase said.
The planning board in December granted Portland-based Competitive Energy Services a permit to erect three electricity generating wind turbines on Beaver Ridge property owned by Ron Price. Each turbine would extend nearly 400 feet in the air at its highest point.
Bennett and his wife Judy Bennett, as well as their daughter Erin Bennett-Wade and Jason Wade, appealed the planning board’s decision in January.
The appeals board heard arguments over three meetings before taking a two-week break.
By Craig Crosby
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
8 March 2007
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