Goings On....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Comprehensive Plan

The planning board has met twice this summer. The first meeting Chris Huck and Joel Greenwood from Kennebec Valley Council of Governments discussed the Comprehensive Plan process, statutes and how KVCOG could be of assistance. There is some possibility that, under the current administration, the State Planning Office could dissolve. However, functions that fell under that umbrella would be distributed to other offices/departments. Thorndike does not have to develop a comprehensive plan. There are some advantages - grant applications, synergy with ordinances in event of litigation, and future development. The board is questioning whether the costs of developing the Comprehensive Plan is worth the expense. Chris and Joel indicated the town did not need to encumber itself with census data collection. It should focus on developing the town's vision of itself.

The planning board approved the Town's building permit for the new town office during the second meeting. We discussed further the cost-benefit of the comprehensive plan, however were still undecided. Chris and Joel had a checklist of Comprehensive Plan criteria. It was decided to disseminate copies of this checklist to get a better idea of requirements.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sorry for the Delay in updating. Needless to say the Planning Board is always busy, both as a committee, and as individual members. Last nights meeting, Chris Huck from KVCOG, was present to help clarify the Comprehensive Plan process. A major concern for the the board were the benefits of having a "consistent" comprehensive plan, versus the costs - time, effort and finances - of revision. Overall Chris was very helpful in explaining that we should not get bogged down in collecting data and should focus on our vision and goals for the town. I think this will be an interesting process and hope to get input from townspeople.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Town Meeting 2010

The planning board pulled together an Industrial Wind Ordinance. It has been a long and arduous task. I hope there is a good showing for town meeting on Saturday March 20th. Please see the sidebar for a link to the ordinance being proposed.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The last few meetings have been full of debate. The planning board has made some determinations regarding noise and minimum setbacks, however we continue to find road blocks. In earlier discussion we had decided to develop a comprehensive Wind Ordinance, that would apply to Wind Energy Conversion devices of all sizes. This has proved to be a cumbersome task due to the potential costs that may be incurred by the town of Thorndike and/or its citizens for dispute resolution or code enforcement. Libby and I attended a meeting at KVCOG specifically for guidance in this matter. Needless to say, we gained very little. At the most recent Planing Board meeting, it was agreed to table discussion regarding "small wind" and to focus instead on industrial wind power. Refer to meeting minutes for specifics.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Two's Company, Three's A Crowd

After taking a much needed hiatus from town politics, the Thorndike Planning board returned to the issue of a Wind Energy Conversion devices on July 22nd. Citizen's Energy, one of the firms formerly interested in the Mt. Harris Wind project stretching from Dixmont through Jackson and into Thorndike, has released Thorndike landowners from lease agreements. It is believed that Citizen's has also withdrawn from the other communities. Competitive Energy, the firm that erected turbines in Freedom, is still interested in the project as is Ra Power. Check links for additional information.

The board considered a proposal from Bud Tibbets to have two ordinances - one pertaining to residential wind turbines and another for industrial projects. In the plan there would be different set-backs based on the scale of the turbine. After much discussion the board agreed that determining a set-back distance should be secondary to developing regulations that provide of a turbines actual performance. These standards should provide reasonable protection to the citizens of Thorndike from sound, flicker, and potential hazards as well as mechanisms for mitigation, code enforcement and complaint resolution. In essence, a 50 dB nuisance at 3:00 a.m. is still troublesome regardless of where it is or how big it is. By focusing on performance standards, one ordinance can address any variety of WEC device.

Distance does matter when considering Blade/Ice Fling. The board decided to look into projected fling distances as a minimum set-back. The board will also look into confidence levels for braking systems.

As a final decision, the board determined that it would be best to handle violoations and code enforcement through the planning board and application process. More details will be provided as specifics are determined.

The meeting convened and will meet again on August 18th at 6:30. The public is welcome to attend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Melissa May-Downer
Bud Tibbets
Libby Heally
Jesse Hargrove
Ryan Herz

With the busy spring upon us it has become increasingly difficult to find common times to meet while managing other individual responsibilities. The committee decided to trust the Planning Board in its process to develop the town's ordinance. The Thondike Wind blog will continue to be updated with developments. Planning Board meetings are open to the public. Citizens are encouraged to come.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The More Things Change....The More They Stay The Same


Jesse Hargrove
Laura Stewart
Libby Heally

Sound recommendation -

Citizen’s committee recommend that the planning board maintain current noise level limits, 45 dB(A) from 6 am (8 am on Sundays) to 8:30 pm; 40 dB(A) from 8:30 pm (8 pm on Sunday) to 6:00 am, set forth in the Town Ordinances. This is based on recommendations from Kamperman Acoustical Consultant and the World Health Organization. There was a strong recommendation that the town review the State DEP Noise Levels. If the town’s preference is line with the state, then there would be no need to set forth a town ordinance making enforcement a town responsibility.

Infra-sound was not addressed. There has been some research that suggests negative health affects however the committee did not come by conclusive.

The Committee decided to research grievance policies for the next meeting on May 28th.