CLIFTON, Maine – Board of appeals members face plenty of work as they review whether the planning board – which approved a $25 million, five-turbine wind farm for Pisgah Mountain in October – based its decision on the facts.
“This is not a meeting about wind power,” Chairman Bruce Davis said at the beginning of Thursday’s appeals board meeting. He said it was “strictly an administrative hearing” to review data collected over the past three years to determine whether the planning board acted on a factual basis.
Peter and Julia Beckford filed the appeal, citing 11 items they contend the planning board did not fully consider when making its decision.
Crystal Phillips, a member of the Clifton Taskforce on Wind, filed a second appeal, citing similar issues.
All of the issues cited on Thursday were addressed by the planning board during its review of the wind farm, said Erik Stumpfel, the attorney for developer Paul Fuller of Bangor.
“Many of the issues tonight are disagreements,” he said. “There is substantial evidence to support the planning board’s findings. It’s nitpicking.”
The issues raised need to be looked at closely to see if the planning board’s decisions were based on the fact, Peter Beckford said.
After going through and highlighting some of the major points of his appeal, he said each of the items raised by him and his wife are backed by data collected over the last three years.
“In the back is three pages of wicked detailed details,” Peter Beckford said. “I know it’s a huge amount of work to go through.”
After the Beckfords and Phillips had their say, the developer was given time to rebut them. Then planning board members were given time at the podium.
Planning board Chairman Eric John used his time in front of the 55 or so residents to clarify questions asked earlier in the night and to say the planning board worked diligently on the permit process.
Members of the public also got an opportunity to speak at the meeting. The appeals board now has the job of going through all of the data to determine whether to affirm the planning board’s October decision or send the project back to the panel for additional work.
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