The City Council unanimously backed an effort to reduce the number of commercial solar arrays being installed in residential neighborhoods.
The Zoning Board of Appeals petitioned the council to adopt new rules guiding where solar arrays can be installed. The new ordinance breaks photovoltaic arrays into three sizes and guides the medium and large scale ones to commercial and industrial land.
The ordinance breaks solar proposals into three sizes: small, medium, and large. The medium and large-scale arrays cannot be installed in residential zones. It also sets criteria for commonly cited issues such as decommissioning and maintenance and setback requirements.
Town officials estimate that taxing the two ground-mounted arrays could bring in upwards of $27,000 but recent rulings by the Appellate Tax Board have found in favor of industrial solar arrays because of a state law exempting solar facilities.
A proposed cannabis retailer received the local permits needed for a West Street location.
Devin Bajardi and Mark Penna are planning to open Pure Botanicals inside the existing building at 239 West Street. The plan is to use 7,000 square feet in the rear of the industrial building for the discrete location of the retail shop. The plan estimates for nine total employees and limited alterations to the property.
SunRaise proposes to install a ground-mounted solar array at 101 Grove St., Duke's Sand & Gravel Pit, and is requesting a special permit and site plan approval. The company leases land and roofs to develop solar projects.
Nexamp believes there is still a path to getting a solar array at Pontoosuc Country Club.
The Boston-based company was just recently denied by the Conservation Commission because of the access road to the proposed 6.5-megawatt array infringed on wetlands. The array was hotly contested among the neighbors, who mounted a coordinated opposition to the project at Conservation Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals meetings on it.
Emotion isn't often shown during Conservation Commission meetings, a board known for its technicality and dullness.
But Michele Rivers-Murphy could barely hold it in Thursday night, sitting the City Council Chambers because as the snow fell outside, Rivers-Murphy and what seemed like the entire Ridge Avenue neighborhood were yet again fighting a 6.5 megawatt solar project proposed for the Pontoosuc Lake Country Club and at the end of the night, the Conservation Commission unanimously sided wi
The Conservation Commission needs more time before rendering its decision on a hotly debated solar array at the Pontoosuc Country Club.
The Boston-based solar developer Nexamp Inc. is proposing a 6.5-megawatt solar array on 25 of the course's 131 acres of land. But neighbors have been fiercely opposed to it and have been fighting it at every turn. The Conservation Commission needs to give its approval on a portion of the work that is in the wetlands buffer zone.
The neighbors around the Pontoosuc Country Club have mounted a coordinated attack in opposition to the proposed solar array.
The Boston-based solar developer Nexamp Inc. is proposing a 6.5-megawatt solar array on 25 of the course's 131 acres of land. The plan takes over the southern portion of the project - the corner closest to Hancock Rock and Ridge Avenue - and leaves enough space for the club's owner to operate a nine-hole course.
Ridge Avenue area neighbors feel blindsided by a plan to construct a 6.6-megawatt solar facility at the Pontoosuc Country Club.
The Boston-based solar developer Nexamp is looking to take over 25 of the 131 acres on the course for a photovoltaic array. The planned array is located on the southern portion of the property - the Hancock Road side of the first handful of holes.
Town Administrator Mark Webber presented a letter from DER to the Selectmen on Tuesday that stated although DER is not opposed to working with the town in the future, the removal of the decommissioned dam on West Mountain Road is no longer a state priority.
The board heard from some angry residents Tuesday who wanted to know which way the town was leaning regarding appealing the court's decision. The Selectmen agreed they first have to discuss the matter in executive session.
The airport is expected to be shut down for 85 days this spring for the reconstruction of the main runway.
The City Council's Finance Subcommittee voted affirmatively on the borrowing to repave both of the airport's runways. The total project will cost $6.9 million, which is 95 percent paid for by the Federal Aviation Authority. The city's cost will be $349,735.
Michael Whigham, vice president of Clean Energy Collective, told the Planning Board on Wednesday that he has not been able to get the town to sign off on the completion of the project nor has he been able to get a clear understanding of what else might need to be done.
The complaints came at Monday's public hearing on a raft of bylaw revisions to update the town's zoning. Town officials are anticipating a special town meeting by late December or early January.
The solar bylaw was completed last year but not in time for the annual town meeting in May. It was presented at Monday night's Planning Board hearing as a standalone along with a number of connected zoning amendments and additions.
Some 11 acres of heavily vegetated land on East Street is eyed to be cleared to make way for a commercial solar array.
BVD Solar is seeking a special permit to construct a 1.9-megawatt array on a 73-acre percent near Winesap Road - the parcel just to the west of the Yankee Orchards. Of that 73 acres, 20.6 will be cut off from the parcel for the solar array installed and 11 acres of that will need to be cleared.