In 2008, many rural Mainers found their communities abruptly rezoned for industrial wind development without their knowledge or participation. This year, the Legislature passed a law creating a process that allows residents in the Unorganized Territories to remove themselves from the “expedited permitting area” where industrial wind development has been fast tracked. Unorganized Territories residents only have six months to take advantage of this opportunity. After June 2016, the opportunity will be gone.
If Unorganized Territories residents want to regain the ability to have a say in the development plans for their community, they must make use of this temporary avenue for removal from the expedited permitting area. Per Public Law 2015, Chapter 265, Unorganized Territories residents who are registered to vote in Maine may petition to remove from the expedited permitting area all or part of the community in which they are registered. Petitions must be filed on an official form developed by the Land Use Regulation Commission, signed by at least 10 percent of registered voters residing in that community that voted in the most recent gubernatorial election, and the Land Use Regulation Commission must receive them between Jan. 1, 2016, and June 30, 2016.
For more information or to start this process, email Tim Beaucage at Timothy.Beaucage@maine.gov, call 287-4894, or send mail to 18 Elkins Lane, Harlow Building 4th floor, Augusta, ME 04333.
There’s no time to waste. If residents want to be involved in the future of their hometown, they must get involved now.
Karen Bessey Pease
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