Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 20, 2011
Deer Isle wind power hearing draws one resident
by Jonathan Thomas
The Deer Isle Selectmen held a hearing on a proposed wind systems ordinance and—except for town officials—only one person came. George Bayliss, who frequently attends monthly planning board meetings, found himself as the lone interested citizen among five planning board members, the three selectmen, Code Enforcement Officer Hubert Billings, and Town Clerk Becky Knowlton.
There was no discussion of the ordinance itself, which had been prepared by the planning board and taken up at several recent board meetings. As reported in the September 8 issue of Island Ad-Vantages, the draft ordinance provides standards for lot size and setback, and allows a maximum height of 100 feet to the top of the blade. In comparison, large commercial turbines permitted in other towns can have a blade height of 400 feet.
The nine-page ordinance also requires that the tower owner provide the town with a yearly renewable bond that would cover the cost of removing the system if it were abandoned.
After brief discussion, it was determined that the ordinance should be presented for town meeting approval before the moratorium on such towers expires on November 23. First selectman Neville Hardy said he would recommend that the selectmen call a special town meeting for that purpose on Thursday evening, November 17, at 6:30 p.m.