Officials in Union will present their proposed wind energy ordinance during a public hearing Tuesday, May 4.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the town office. The ordinance will go to the voters at town meeting Monday, June 14.

The goal of the proposed ordinance is to regulate wind energy operations, especially large-scale wind farms, in terms of the noise they produce, according to Selectman John Gibbons. He said the state is promoting wind power projects and it is impossible to set regulations in place that would prevent windmills from making any noise, but the proposed ordinance would put a cap on the amount of noise impacting neighbors.

At one point, the town was considering placing a temporary moratorium on wind projects. Gibbons said April 27 that will not be necessary, since the town has an ordinance prepared to go before the voters at town meeting.

The state has a wind ordinance, but town officials want more specific protections.

“The recent controversy over the Fox Islands Wind Project in Vinalhaven has created some doubt about the adequacy of the state’s wind power noise standards, which form part of the basis for Union’s draft ordinance,” a previous town press release said.

Gibbons said in previous comments that some kinds of rhythmic sounds that repeat for hours on end can be very annoying. Another issue to take into consideration with wind power is the flickering light caused by the sun being seen through the spinning blades and the visual impact of the windmills themselves on neighbors. Gibbons said this week, however, that noise is really the primary issue.

Last fall, selectmen asked the Land Use Ordinance Revision Committee to develop wind power regulations and have them ready for a vote at the next town meeting.

Gibbons said small wind power facilities, suitable for home or farm use, are largely exempt and would gain approval through a faster, streamlined permitting process.

“During the development of the ordinance, a number of different constituencies emerged in the town with particular viewpoints that the committee had to address seriously,” Gibbons wrote in an e-mail. “There is a constituency that believes strongly in private property rights, free of regulation of any kind. There is another constituency that is familiar with the noise and other issues raised by wind power projects in Freedom, Mars Hill, and most recently in Vinalhaven, and wants wind power projects in Union strongly regulated. A third constituency has proposed prohibiting large wind towers completely. And a fourth has sought to ensure that smaller wind towers suitable for home and farm power will not face burdensome permitting and regulatory obstacles. The proposed ordinance is a carefully crafted compromise among the sometimes-conflicting viewpoints of the various constituencies in the town.”

The Land Use Ordinance Revision Committee has scheduled a meeting Wednesday, April 28 at 5 p.m. to approve a language change in the land use ordinance to fix a conflict between it and the proposed wind energy facility ordinance, according to an e-mail April 27 from Gibbons.

He said land use ordinance changes will also be looked at during the public hearing next week, but most of the land use ordinance changes being proposed this year are minor housekeeping items.

The town election will be held Tuesday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office. The town meeting will be held Monday, June 14 at 7 p.m. at the town office.