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Byron to consider wind farm plan

BYRON – Following on the heels of Roxbury’s public hearing earlier this month regarding a proposed ordinance change to allow wind-farm facilities, Byron will convene a hearing.

Wind farm companies are interested in building towers atop ridges stretching between both Western Maine towns on Route 17.

But unlike Roxbury’s proposed land-use ordinance change, which seeks to create a new zone specifically for wind towers, Byron’s proposal deals entirely with height requirements in its building ordinance.

Byron’s public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. today in the Coos Canyon Schoolhouse off Route 17.

Planning Board Chairman Dave Duguay said Wednesday evening that Byron’s ordinance limits buildings to 30 feet in height.

That was done to prevent someone from building a 40-foot-tall house, which would require the town to get a firetruck with an extendible ladder capable of reaching the upper story.

However, after learning that wind turbine towers are self-contained and have fire-suppression systems inside, Duguay said planners decided to extend the limit to 450 feet solely for wind towers.

“We’re suggesting 450 feet, which includes the turbine blades, which can be 100 to 150 feet long,” Duguay said. “If everything goes through, we’ll have a better idea. The 30-foot limit would still be applicable to all other structures.”

Planners will take feedback and decide whether or not to tweak the ordinance proposal. That would go before voters at town meeting Monday, March 10.

By Terry Karkos
Staff Writer

The Lewiston Sun Journal

21 February 2008