ROCKPORT — The Rockport Select Board voted earlier this autumn to place two municipal questions before Rockport votes on the Nov. 3 ballot. One has to do with regulating fireworks; the other concerns solar farm oversight rules.
The Select Board of the Town of Rockport will hold a public hearing on Monday, October 26, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. to give interested members of the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed ordinances. The meeting will be live-streamed at https://livestream.com/rockportmaine.
According to the town:
The Solar Farm Ordinance was created by the Ordinance Review Committee in response to solar farm projects that were proposed and approved in Rockport recently. These solar farm projects were required to be reviewed by the Planning Board, but the Town does not currently have any standards that are specific to solar farms. This ordinance puts standards in place for solar farms to ensure that they are allowed in Rockport, but are also sited well, protect neighboring properties, and have appropriate end-of-life requirements for disassembly among other requirements. If approved by the voters of Rockport, this ordinance will be in effect on January 1, 2021.
Article 3: Shall an Ordinance entitled “Town of Rockport Ordinance to Regulate the Use of Consumer Fireworks” be enacted?
Fireworks ordinance: In 2019, a resident approached the Select Board with a complaint about the use of consumer fireworks, and subsequently circulated a petition to ban consumer fireworks. (Read: Rockport considers municipal fireworks policy, hears resident complaint)
The petition submitted did not meet the legally required language needed to implement an ordinance to ban the use of fireworks. It did have 124 signatures of registered voters. The Select Board decided to place a non-binding question on the Annual Town Meeting ballot asking voters if they supported a ban on consumer fireworks.
This vote occurred in August (instead of June) because of the pandemic.
The results of this vote were 339 for banning fireworks and 227 against banning fireworks. The Select Board then approved the “Ordinance to Regulate the Use of Consumer Fireworks” for the November 3 ballot.
Article 4: Shall an Ordinance entitled “Town of Rockport Solar Farm Ordinance” be enacted?
A “yes” vote will ban the use of consumer fireworks in Rockport.
A “no” vote will continue to allow the use of consumer fireworks in Rockport under current state law. Please note that commercial displays of fireworks would not be affected by this ordinance and would still be allowed.
The warrant articles are available for review at the Rockport Town Office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or click here.