Three Frankfort landowners have filed suit against the town. The townspeople recently enacted a wind ordinance, and the plaintiffs allege it violates their Constitutional rights. They claim that the wind ordinance is tantamount to a “regulatory taking” of their right to operate a wind facility on their property.
The plaintiffs reason that because the town has never regulated “use” of private property in the past, they were unfairly targeted by the enactment of the ordinance.
Maine has a long history of safeguarding landowners’ rights. We’re known for protecting our natural resources, too – and we strive always to find that “happy medium.” We also care about our neighbors’ health, happiness and quality of life.
The voters of Frankfort did their homework and took the time to learn about the impacts versus benefits of grid-scale wind turbines. While respecting an owner’s right to make an income from his property, it’s important to remember that developments of the size proposed by Eolian stand to affect many, many people who are not going to be receiving those large lease payments. When one’s “use” of his property has an impact on others, those others have a right to weigh in on that use.
This lawsuit should be summarily dismissed. The people of Maine must stand up for our right to self-govern. We cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by the menace of a lawsuit. We cannot give up home rule because we are being bullied. Maine people do not bow down to threats.
Eolian is crying foul now that they’ve confronted democracy in action. Eolian sat in on Frankfort’s meetings. The wind developer and the landowners had many months and many opportunities to have their “say.” Then the residents of Frankfort cast their votes.
Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work?
Karen Bessey Pease
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