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Wind turbine needs ZBA's OK or breeze might never blow in Kittery  

KITTERY, Maine – One of the first and possibly only town permits to allow the building of a wind turbine near the solid waste transfer facility will be considered tonight at a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

Last December, the town council approved funding of up to $150,000 for a 50-KW wind turbine proposed by Entegrity Wind Systems Inc., based in Boulder, Colo. Another $50,000 from a Maine Public Utilities Commission’s grant will help pay off the $185,000 bid price of the turbine.

A special exception appeal will be held at the ZBA meeting tonight to allow the construction of a 125-foot high tower to which the turbine will be fastened.

Town Manager Jon Carter said that a special conditions review is needed to build a public utility facility, like the wind turbine, in the zone near the transfer facility.

“So we meet the criteria of what is a public utilities facility, and we’re going to the ZBA asking for the special condition appeal to be granted, as well as the height of the facility,” Carter said.

The town manager said the ZBA permit might be the only permit needed for the construction of the turbine.

“The town planner and public works folks are talking about that, and whether or not it is needed to go to the Planning Board,” Carter said.

Town Councilor Glenn Shwaery said the town has sent letters to all abutters within a 500-foot radius of the area where the tower is projected to go. Those abutters will have the opportunity to voice any concerns they might have at tonight’s meeting.

Shwaery said he doesn’t know what to expect for public response, but there may be abutters concerned about the view and noise, which are things “people generally argue when concerned about wind power.”

“Where we’re placing it, it’s in the back part of a landfill, so there’s not a lot of houses that are close to it,” Shwaery said.

The councilor said ZBA approval is vital for the project to move forward.

“If we don’t get approval from the ZBA, it doesn’t go forward at all. The continuation of this project is completely dependent on getting approval from the Zoning Board,” he said.

Also at the meeting, the ZBA will hear a variance appeal requested by Robert Dean Harris Jr., who is seeking approval in order to build a 28-foot-by-50-foot home with a drive under garage on Betty Welch Road. In addition, Michael Morrison has requested a special exception appeal of the Kittery Land Use and Development Code Zoning Ordinance in order to complete a basement, adding a temporary living space to the existing house for an intra-family dwelling unit on Oak Terrace.

By Nick Gosling

fosters.com

22 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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