Nearly a year of experience with a ten-turbine wind farm has led the town of Woodstock, Maine to consider nudging any future wind developments a bit further from homes. As reported here in July, the Spruce Mountain Wind Farm sits more than three-quarters of a mile from any homes; a few homes (perhaps 10) are within a mile, and another dozen or so are within a mile and a half. So far, Woodstock’s wind ordinance committee has received more than a dozen letters of concern about unexpected noise impacts, a number that would seem to represent a significant proportion of residents within that area.
This week, the town’s Wind Ordinance Committee presented its draft ordinanceto govern future wind development to the Selectmen; the town meeting will vote on the plan in March. The new rules would require setbacks of 1.25 miles to non-participating property lines, and limit sound levels to 35dB at night, and 45dB during the day (10dB quieter than state rules require). Committee member Charlie Reiss said the group tried to find the right balance that would make future projects tolerable for neighbors without creating restrictions so severe that the projects would be impossible to build. Selectman Rick Young said he had read all of the 12-page ordinance before the meeting. “I’m impressed. I thought it was very thorough,” he said. The committee will continue meeting and making adjustments to the proposal, in anticipation of the town meeting vote in March.