Petition bypasses elected boards
To the Editor:
An “end run” is being attempted by Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewables, by submitting a petition to amend Antrim’s zoning ordinance to include industrial-scale wind. You will be asked to vote on this amendment in March.
It is not a referendum on wind power, just a poorly worded attempt at allowing wind farms into Antrim’s Rural Conservation District. Whether you support wind in Antrim or not, here are reasons that Antrim voters who care about proper procedures and the rule of law should vote against Article 5: 1) As recently reported by the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, this ordinance was written and submitted in its entirety by Eolian Renewables/Antrim Wind Energy, aided and abetted by local proponents of the company. 2) While legal, the ordinance-by-petition bypassed the duly elected planning board. The Antrim Planning Board did not, and cannot, debate or amend this document. 3) The Antrim Planning Board voted not to recommend this proposed ordinance. 4) Zoning is never written for or by one particular company. Instead, a planning board solicits input from the applicant, abutting property owners, residents, planning professionals and technical experts. None of this occurred. 5) Just a few of the deficiencies in the petitioned ordinance amendment include: Noise standards above the World Health Organization’s guidelines; inadequate protections for adjoining landowners; no financial redress procedures for loss of property value; no details for protection of fish and wildlife; no details for FAA lighting of the towers; tower heights which allow for some of the tallest towers in the United States, and inadequate decommissioning requirements.
Antrim voters, there’s a right way and a wrong way to make public policy. Allowing such a poorly written, developer-biased document to become law is the wrong way. Please vote “no” on Article 5.