As I’m sitting here for the beginning of the third day of intervener sessions, I thought I would write a quick post. At the moment, the LURC commissioners are asking questions of Luke Muzzy of Plum Creek. If there is one thing that has become clear after two full days of these sessions it’s that Plum Creek’s proposal is very complicated. Several times even Luke has not been able to answer questions about how the proposal works. A large focus of the second day was a discussion of why Plum Creek is seeking to lock in some of the rules for sensitive ecological areas for 30 years. This would mean that if the State were to decide that protection zones that buffer streams or wetlands needed to be expanded in the future, those zones in Plum Creek’s proposed development zones would not change and those areas would not receive the protections. Another area subject to a lot of debate was Plum Creek’s proposal to allow “view corridors” from all of their proposed lots. This is something that no other land owner in LURC jurisdiction is allowed to do. You can imagine how the experience from the water of Moosehead would change if every house lot was allowed to clear a “view corridor.” More discussions on the layout and design of the proposed development will be happening today.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at Pat LaMarche’s editorial in today’s Bangor Daily News. She asks some good questions about the affordable house being proposed by Plum Creek. Would $150,000 houses actually be affordable for local residents?
–Diano Circo, NRCM North Woods Policy Advocate and Outreach Coordinator