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Cushing approves new wind turbine ordinance, other rule changes

Cushing – Cushing residents voted Nov. 8 to enact a new town Wind Turbine Ordinance, limiting wind turbines to a maximum of 80 feet tall.

Residents supported the proposed ordinance by a vote of 273 to 181.

Under the ordinance wind turbines that meet the height requirement will be required to meet sound limits at the property lines. These limits will not support large commercial wind turbine installations. As a point of reference, the three commercial wind turbines on Vinalhaven are over 250 feet tall.

Residents also voted 253 to 192 to approve the Site Plan Review Ordinance, which sets standards for new non-residential land uses. It includes restrictions for drug dispensaries. Existing uses, fishing home occupations, forestry, and agriculture uses are exempt from the new standards.

A revision to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance was favored by a vote of 263 to 184, requiring an applicant for a non-residential land use in the shoreland zone to notify abutting neighbors. In addition, the definition of a Fishing Home Business has been changed to allow three employees instead of two. Changes to comply with Maine Department of Environmental Protection are also included in the revised ordinance.

Townspeople also voted 292 to 155 to support a revision to the Public Road Ordinance clarifying requirements for road names, signs, and traffic control devices.

The full text of all four documents appears on the Cushing website at cushing.maine.gov.