A moratorium on industrial development approved by Temple residents last month is intended to give the town more time to compile a comprehensive plan.
The moratorium, approved by voters at Town Meeting on March 14, is a mechanism for the town to keep out industrial development while the Planning Board works to develop the plan, which will clearly define the town’s zoning specifications on development, Selectmen Kevin White said.
Presently the town does not have a complete comprehensive plan or industrial zoning regulations for the planning board to use as guidelines.
The moratorium, which went into effect following the vote, will be in place for the next six months, blocking applications, permits, and licensing for industrial development projects.
White said the six months should be enough time for the planning board to finish the comprehensive plan, which it has started working on, and for the town to adopt it. If more time is needed, the moratorium can be extended for another 180-day term.
The interest in devising a comprehensive plan and enacting an industrial development moratorium comes on the back of a pitch made by Renewable Energy Systems America Inc. to Temple residents in January.
At a public meeting, the company proposed a wind energy project that would include the installation of 12 to 25 wind turbines on the hill line in the western part of town.
The town already has an ordinance strictly regulating wind power development, but White said the pitch was exploratory to gauge if there was residential interest in considering an exception to the ordinance.
He noted that the ordinance allows for wind development if a petition is started and signed by 10 percent of residents. It would then have to come to a vote at a special town meeting.
However, White said that January’s meeting produced a resounding no to the idea of wind development in Temple.
“I think the majority of people, even though (wind power) is clean energy, lean towards being opposed to it because of the viewscape,” White said.
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