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Web exclusive, October 7, 2010
Brooklin to hold Saturday hearing on cell tower and wind turbine moratorium ordinances

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by Jonathan Thomas

By JONATHAN THOMAS Brooklin voters have been invited to attend a public hearing on Saturday morning, October 9, at 9 a.m. to discuss two proposed moratorium ordinances. One would apply to commercial communications towers, and the other would apply to industrial wind turbines. The hearing is at the Brooklin School.

The hearing is a lead-up to a special town meeting that the selectmen have scheduled October 23, at the same time and place.

The moratorium ordinances were prepared by an eight-member tower ordinance committee appointed by the selectmen. The committee co-chairmen are Richard Hero and Frank John.

As discussed in a public meeting earlier in the year, the purpose of these moratorium ordinances is not to prevent such towers from ever being built, but to provide time for the ordinance committee to draft regulatory ordinances which would allow the town to have some control in such matters as the location, height, and noise levels (of wind turbines) when and if such towers are proposed. Town officials have said previously that existing ordinances do not contain adequate provisions to cover these considerations.

State law allows towns to enact ordinances for up to 180 days. This period may be extended once for an additional 180 days by vote of the selectmen after a public hearing. If enacted, a moratorium ordinance would prohibit town officials from accepting applications for any such project during the moratorium period.

According to meeting notes from the committee, the group has already begun to review model ordinances and has scheduled a visit to a wind turbine site.