Wind power and wireless templates differ, but maybe wireless projects in Maine could avoid costly lawsuits by following the lead of Governor Baldacci's Task Force on Wind Power Development. Its February 2008 Final Report advised a collaborative “planned approach” as opposed to “haphazard” protecting Maine’s “treasured... scenic and natural resources.” It called for “the thoughtful involvement of Maine people in the permitting process,” and would “reward well-sited projects with expedited permits.”
Late December 2008, Waldo County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey L. Hjelm ruled against a cell tower proposed for the viewshed of Bald Rock Mountain in Lincolnville, the 1,200-foot summit in Camden Hills State Park overlooking Penobscot Bay.
The site was in the middle of a 180-degree panorama of a forest skirt sweeping from high ledge down to the sea, with an archipelago of islands in the distance. Other mountains share the viewshed, a major allure of the park, which draws more than 180,000 visitors each year from as far away as New Zealand.
Eleven townspeople, including me, filed an 80b appeal to support the Lincolnville Planning Board's denial of the tower permit for "unreasonably adverse impact" on a protected scenic resource. The permit denial had been overturned by the Town's Board of Appeals and the permit issued. In January, our Bald Rock Community group (BRC) celebrated the Superior Court victory reinstating the Planning Board decision.
Our attorney, Lori Londis Dwyer, of Bernstein Shur, said: "The decision of the Superior Court Judge was a strong affirmation of scenic view standards, nailing the issues on the head. It respected the role of the fact finder (the Planning Board) and affirmed a municipality's legitimate right to protect its scenic resources through carefully crafted, detailed ordinances."
But it's not over... (continue)
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Checks can be sent directly to:
Bald Rock Community,
PO 892, Camden, ME 04843.
For a tax deduction: make checks payable to NRCM and be sure to write "Bald Rock" in the memo section of your check.
National Resource Council Maine:
3 Wade Street, Augusta, ME 04330.
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