For the Town of Whiting, Maine
Section 1. Purpose
The purpose of this Ordinance is to regulate the placement, construction, and modification of small, fixed wind energy systems while allowing the safe, effective, and efficient use of this technology.
Section 2. Authority
This ordinance is adopted pursuant to the “home rule” provisions of the Maine State Constitution, Article VIII, Part Second, and 30A MRSA #111 and 141.
Section 3. Applicability
This Ordinance applies to the construction of small wind energy systems in all areas of Whiting, including those governed by the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.
Section 4. Effective Date
This Ordinance shall take effect upon approval by majority vote of the Town meeting.
Section 5. Validity and Severability
Should any section or provision of this Ordinance be declared by the courts to be invalid, such decision shall not invalidate any other section or provision of this Ordinance.
Section 6. Conflict With Other Ordinances
Whenever a provision of this Ordinance conflicts with or is inconsistent with another provision of this Ordinance or any other Ordinance, regulation, or statute, the more restrictive provision shall apply.
Section 7. Amendments
This Ordinance may be amended by a majority vote of the Town Meeting.
Section 8. General Requirements for Small Wind Energy Systems
The following general requirements shall apply to all small wind energy systems:
a. Each minimum size build able lot shall be limited to one small wind energy system.
b. Small wind energy system towers shall not exceed a maximum system height of 100 ft. This is an allowed
exception to the structure height limitations set forth in the Building Permit and Shoreland Zoning ordinances.
c. Wind turbines and their support structures, if painted, shall be painted a non-reflective, non-obtrusive color.
d. Small wind energy system towers shall not be lighted unless required by the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) or other public authority.
e. Wind turbines shall not be used to display any advertising except for reasonable identification of the
f. Prior to commencing any construction, the applicant must obtain a Building Permit in accordance with the
Building Permit or Shoreland Zoning ordinances.
Section 9. Setback Requirements
The following setback and separation requirements shall apply to all small wind energy systems:
a. Property Lines: Each small wind energy system shall be set back a distance equal to one hundred and ten
percent of its total height from adjoining property lines.
b. Structures on an abutter’s property: Each small wind energy system shall be set back a distance equal to one
hundred and fifty percent of its total height from any structure on adjoining properties.
c. Roads: Each small wind energy system shall be set back from the nearest public or private road a distance of
no less than one hundred ten percent of its total height, as determined from the nearest boundary of the
underlying right of way for such road.
d. Communication and electrical lines: Each small wind energy system shall be set back from the nearest above-
ground public electric power line or telephone line a distance of no less than one hundred and ten percent its total
height, as determined from the existing power line or telephone line.
Section 10. Noise Limitation Requirements
All small wind energy systems shall meet the following requirements:
a. An automatic braking, governing, or feathering system shall be required to prevent uncontrolled rotation.
b. Prior to approval, the applicant shall provide documentation from the manufacturer that the wind energy
system will not produce noise levels in excess of the following standards, as measured at any residence, business,
school, church, or public library.
Ambient reading without Maximum permitted reading
wind tower with wind tower
45 dBA 55 dBA
50dBA 56 dBA
55dBA 61 dBA
60dBA 62 dBA
65dBA 66 dBA
c. After approval but prior to installation of the small wind energy system, the owner shall have sound level
measurements taken at the closest residence, business, school, church, or public library to determine ambient
decibels levels. After installation of the small wind energy system, the owner shall have sound level
measurements taken at the closest residence, business, school, church or public library to determine operating
decibel levels. Noise limit requirements shall be waived if the closest residence, business, school, church, or
public library is more than 500 feet away. Copies of all readings taken shall be provided to the Code
Enforcement Officer to append to the original building permit application.
d. Upon complaint of an abutter, ambient and maximum permitted decibel measurements shall be performed by
an agent designated by the Code Enforcement Officer. The report shall be submitted to the Code Enforcement
Officer for review. The fee for this service shall be paid by the complainant unless the maximum permitted
decibel level has been exceeded, in which case the owner of the system shall pay the fee.
e. If the maximum decibel readings are exceeded, the installation shall be considered a nuisance.
f. The nuisance violation must be corrected within 90 days from notification of the violation. If the violation
cannot be corrected, the small wind energy system shall be removed or relocated.
Section 11. Minimum Ground Clearance
The blade tip of any wind turbine shall have a ground clearance at its lowest point of no less than twenty feet.
Section 12. Signal Interference
The applicant shall minimize or mitigate any interference with electromagnetic communications, such as radio, telephone, or television signals caused by any small energy system.
Section 13. Safety
The following safety requirements shall be adhered to:
a. All wiring between the wind turbine and the residence/facility served shall be underground.
b. Wind turbine towers shall not be climbable up to fifteen feet above ground level.
c. All access doors to wind turbine towers and electrical equipment shall be locked.
d. Appropriate warning signage shall be placed on wind turbine towers, electrical equipment and wind energy
Section 14. Permitting Requirements
In addition to the application and supporting documentation required by the Building Permit or Shoreland
Zoning ordinances, the applicant for a small wind energy system shall provide the following information to the Whiting Planning Board.
a. Structural drawings of the wind tower, base pad, footings, and guy wires prepared by the manufacturer or a
b. Drawings and specifications of the generator, hub, and blade prepared by the manufacturer or a professional
c. Photograghs of the proposed site and the specific small wind energy system to be installed.
Section 15. Fees:
An application fee shall accompany each application and a permit fee shall be paid before a permit is issued. The fee schedule shall be set by the Planning Board, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen. All fees collected will be used to pay the Planning and Appeals Boards’ expenses.
Section 16. Definitions
This Ordinance shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer. The Selectmen may take actions necessary to restrain, correct, remove, or punish violations of this Ordinance in accordance with 30A MRSA #4452.
Section 17. Definitions
As used in this Ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
a. Hub Height: The distance measured from ground level to the center of the turbine hub.
b. Small Wind Energy System: A wind energy conversion system consisting of a tower, wind turbine, and
associated control conversion electronics which will be used primarily to produce electrical power.
c. System Height: The hub height plus the length of the blade extended to its highest point.
d. Tower: The structure on which the wind energy system is mounted.
e. Tower Height: The height above grade of the fixed portion of a tower, excluding the wind turbine.
f. Wind Turbine: The parts of the wind system including the blades, generator, and tail.
Enacted: Annual Town Meeting, September 29, 2008
/s/ Steven C. Pressley I, Selectman
/s/ Mary Alice Look, Selectman
/s/ Janice Bronson, Selectman
/s/ Caron Kilton, Town Clerk