FARMINGTON–The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission voted, 6-1 against rezoning 1,004 mountaintop acres in northern Franklin County for a 30-turbine wind-energy project today.
Only commissioner Stephen Wight, of Newry, supported the rezoning request.
The commission’s staff had previously recommended the rezoning be approved.
The proposed $130-million wind farm was to be built on the ridges of Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble mountains in Redington Township, about 4 miles west of Sugarloaf/USA in Carrabassett Valley.
Members of Maine’s environmental community have said the power project is not necessary and would damage forever a pristine stretch of Maine mountains. They have also argue the view from the Appalachian Trail would be damaged for hikers and the project could damage the habitats of endangered species of birds and aniimals.
Those opposed to the project have also argued the LURC staff recommendation to approve the rezoning was illegal.
They say the proposal failed to demonstrate that it would create no “undue, adverse impacts” and that it is not consistent with LURC’s comprehensive land use plan.
Supporters of the project said it would have provided a long-overdue means to generate non-polluting power and would have been a boon for the local economy.