News Feature

Deer Isle
Web exclusive, October 28, 2010
Deer Isle to consider wind power moratorium

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by Jonathan Thomas

The Deer Isle planning board has sent to the selectmen a draft moratorium ordinance on wind turbines with a recommendation that a public hearing on it be scheduled as soon as possible.

If enacted by the voters at a subsequent town meeting, the moratorium would last for 180 days and would apply to larger facilities “that primarily generate electricity to supply off-site customers.”

During the 180-day moratorium period, the town would prepare a wind power regulatory ordinance that would control such factors as tower height, location, and payment for removal if a turbine were abandoned.

Chairman Jeremy Stewart said that it is important for the town to have the time a moratorium would allow since the town has no protection in such matters if an application were to be submitted at this time.

Stewart said that the issue of an ordinance regulating cell towers would be addressed at a later time. (Permits for three cell towers were issued earlier this year, but only one of them appears likely to be built.)

The board also approved two permit applications at its October 21 meeting. Lewis Snow presented his revised application to change the use of the site of the former Eaton’s Lobster Pool Restaurant from commercial to residential. The property is on Blastow’s Cove, Little Deer Isle (map 30, lot 67). Snow explained that he wanted to remove the kitchen facility at the water’s edge, and to move the over-the-water 250-seat dining hall onto the shore and make it into a residence with smaller dimensions.

In his discussion with the board, Snow said that, if permitted, he might prefer to remove the dining hall altogether and replace it with a residence using all new materials in an on-shore location. The board agreed that the proposed site of the new residence was set back as far as practical and would be a permitted non-conforming use.

The permit was approved by a 4-0 vote conditioned on receipt of a permit-by-rule from the Department of Environmental Protection. Also present and voting were Dan Owens, Melissa Proper and alternate Dave Hutchins. Code Enforcement Officer Hubert Billings participated in the discussion.