Many of us are quite sure zoning regulations are not the right thing to do. Anxiety about restricting how one can use their land is good enough reason to say no to zoning. Local government gets that, and avoids zoning for the most part.
In 2008, the state of Maine, by vote in Augusta, effectively zoned two-thirds of the state for industrial development. Wind energy facilities with humongous sized machines are without doubt, industrial.
How do you say no to this zoning change? State laws don’t change or go away, they just keep pushing along further and further, with Augusta imposing its will on communities.
Can a town “opt out” of this zoning ploy? The answer is no.
Many have heard that there is no recourse. It’s a done deal: if your community lies within the two-thirds of the state zoned for industrial wind, too bad. Augusta rules.
Is grassroots response the answer? Yes.
Many communities are countering Augusta’s zoning rules by making their own rules. Sooner or later, the grassroots voice of all these communities will be heard in Augusta but, by that time, it may be too late for some. It’s time to exercise “home rule” before we lose that to Augusta.
Dan McKay, Dixfield
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