News Feature

Web exclusive, January 14, 2011
New cell tower ordinance unveiled at Penobscot planning board hearing

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The Penobscot Planning Board presented its proposed communications tower ordinance at a public hearing on January 7. Seven residents were in the audience.

Chairman Dana Willis and board member Liz Snow said that if approved by the voters at the March 8 town meeting, the ordinance would limit tower height to 190 feet as measured from the tower’s base

Towers over 200 feet tall are required by federal rules to have lights. Several people said they don’t like the new 250-foot tower in Brooksville with its flashing lights.

The ordinance would also require a yearly renewable bond from the tower applicant to cover the cost of removal if the tower is abandoned.

A tower applicant would also have to provide evidence that there is no existing tower that would meet the company’s communication needs. This requirement aims to prevent an unnecessary proliferation of towers.

Each application would also be reviewed to determine that the facility would “have no unreasonable adverse impact upon designated scenic resources” as designated in Section 1.K of the ordinance (Historic & Archeological Properties). Snow said Penobscot’s proposed ordinance was largely based on Orland’s ordinance, which that town has found to work well over the last several years.

The board also voted to approve two detailed amendments to the Wind Energy Systems ordinance that was presented at a public hearing on December 7. (See December 16 issue of the Castine Patriot.)

Snow presented the revised shoreland zoning map that contains many small changes that take into account new information from state agencies.

This revised zoning map will be presented to voters at the March 8 town meeting along with the wind and communication tower ordinances.

In other business, the board approved a permit for renovations and additions to a home owned by Edward Dufresne. Its location appears on map 32 as lot 12.