Chairman wants Scarborough council to revisit wind turbine vote

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SCARBOROUGH — Less than 12 hours after councilors voted to adopt a wind turbine ordinance, the Town Council chairman is hoping they will reconsider.

The council finally tackled the ordinance governing the small wind-energy systems early Thursday morning.

Several revisions had been made since the first reading, including an increase in allowable height from 100 to 175 feet and a decrease in setback requirements from 110 to 75 percent of the height.

Objections have centered on whether a wind turbine is appropriate in a densely populated neighborhood, like Ferry Road, where resident Scott Doherty was ordered to stop work on a turbine installation after neighbors complained. Another concern is the danger to nearby property if turbines fall.

Several people spoke against the ordinance, including Rick Shinay, an attorney representing Ferry Road resident William Roman.

During council discussion, a motion was made to table and send the measure back to committee. The motion failed 3-3, with Council Chairman Mike Wood and Councilors Judy Roy and Shawn Babine in favor of tabling and Councilors Karen D’Andrea, Ron Ahlquist and Richard Sullivan opposed. Councilor Carol Rancourt had already left the meeting.

When the council voted on the main motion, the ordinance passed 5-1, with Wood opposed.

Shinay said Thursday he was surprised at the council’s decision and added he did not understand why three councilors were dissatisfied enough with the draft to vote to table, yet two of them ended up approving it.

Wood said Thursday morning that he’s hoping one of the councilors in the majority will request reconsideration of the vote.

“I don’t want to overly delay an ordinance when folks have interest in alternative energy, but not at the expense of the other issues,” he said.

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or