The ordinance creates a set of guidelines for the development of commercial wind energy projects in the community. The rules regulating wind energy developments were drafted by the council-appointed Wind Energy Technical Review Committee, which featured twelve community members who met every two weeks for nearly ten months. The ordinance that was adopted is the culmination of dozens of meetings, hundreds of hours of research, and considerable public input over the ten month period.
“The residents of Fort Fairfield asked the Town Council to develop a set of rules for wind energy development that would protect the public health, safety and welfare of the town’s citizens,” stated Fort Fairfield Town Manager, James Risner. “The Wind Energy Technical Review Committee took its duties seriously, dug deep into the matter, and delivered its recommendations to the Council in the form of this ordinance.”
Fort Fairfield has long been an attractive potential location for commercial wind development due to its many large, wind-swept hills and ridges with several projects proposed for the area in the past. The Town Council decided to impose a moratorium on the development of any project so that the town could develop an ordinance to address the issue. That moratorium was passed in October of 2014 and extended for an additional 180 days in March 2015 to allow the committee and the council to complete the task of drafting and adopting an ordinance regulating wind energy developments.
In adopting the ordinance Wednesday evening, councilors stated the intention of the ordinance is to create a workable set of rules for wind energy development that protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens. . Councilors also made it clear that the regulations established in the ordinance can be changed if there are compelling reasons to do so. The new Wind Energy Development Ordinance goes into effect immediately.
Click here to download a copy of the Wind Energy Development ordinance.