Yarmouth Town Council to discuss wind ordinance, Madeline Point construction

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YARMOUTH — The Town Council meets Thursday night, July 2, for a workshop to discuss construction at Madeline Point, a proposed dinghy program at the Little John and Wharf Road facilities, and small wind energy systems proposed by the Planning Board.

According to Town Manager Nat Tupper, all federal, state and local permits have been approved, and it is now in the hands of the Town Council to authorize construction at Madeline Point and appropriate funds from the Harbor and Waterfront Reserve Fund.

“I will make a recommendation to go ahead with the issues that neighbors are concerned about,” he said. “We need to build fences and buffers and address the parking and beach erosion.”

Then, he said, the dock and ramp can be constructed in the fall. Until it is determined what is needed for additional parking and moorings, those plans can wait.

“I foresee a slow process,” Tupper said. “We have to take it piece by piece.”

In addition, Tupper said the council will discuss a shared dinghy program. Again, he said instead of making changes at Madeline Point right away, it would be smart to try it out at the Little John or Wharf Road facilities first. He said a few dinghies could be shared among boat owners to see what the response will be.

In other business, the councilors will review amendments to the Zoning Ordinance regarding small wind energy systems. The purpose of the ordinance is to “promote alternative energy production on a scale adequate to meet the needs of a typical home or small business.” The ordinance is intended to regulate placement and construction of small wind energy systems in “appropriate locations” while minimizing potential visual, environmental, and operational impacts.

Planning Director Vanessa Farr said in an e-mail Tuesday that the wind ordinance “has been carefully developed and significantly vetted,” and is designed for residential and small-business use, not for large-scale production.

The ordinance allows a maximum height of 100 feet, but will include language giving the Planning Board the ability to waive the height restriction for an additional 25 feet, if applicants document practicality. The ordinance also states the small wind energy systems will be painted with non-reflective, unobtrusive colors that must blend with surrounding environment. Approved colors include white, off-white and gray.

Farr said the Planning Board researched ordinances in Damariscotta, Saco, and Cape Elizabeth, and gathered input from professional and local wind energy consultants. She said all the safety features are required, and the night time decibel ratings come directly from state guidelines. In addition, the Planning Board built in discretionary language that will allow visual impact analysis.

The council Thursday is also expected to:

• Hear a report from a task force regarding a property swap of five acres off Sligo Road for the Yarmouth Water District building on Elm Street.

• Consider a request from the Yarmouth Lions Club for roadside club informational signs.

• Discuss the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement with the Maine Association of Police, Dispatchers Unit.

• Consider amendments to the Traffic Ordinance, changing two parking spots on Portland Street near Rosemont Bakery to 30-minute limits.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Log Cabin on Main Street.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net