Printed: 3/21/2021 4:01:26 PM
CONWAY — The Planning Board will maintain a digital public listening to on March 24 to debate attainable adjustments to zoning bylaws regarding large-scale photo voltaic services.
Based on a press launch from the board, these adjustments embrace eradicating a parcel of land on Fournier Street from the Photo voltaic Electrical Overlay District, in addition to revising the allowing course of for photo voltaic set up to require a particular allow; implementing elevated setbacks from residences and public methods; and incorporating screening and fencing to cut back the affect on surrounding parcels.
The bylaw, which was final amended in 2015 as a part of a Inexperienced Communities grant, doesn’t pertain to residential photo voltaic constructions or small-scale rooftop photo voltaic panels.
“Now that we perceive what large-scale photo voltaic will be, we actually need to take our bylaw and see the place we have to add some issues, and the place we have to make clear some issues,” stated Planning Board Chair Beth Girshman. (The city’s foremost involvement with large-scale photo voltaic has concerned a challenge on Principal Poland Street, the place personal land was leased to the photo voltaic power firm Nexamp.)
The modification to Article 2 would take away the “Fournier Parcel” at 24 Fournier Street from the Photo voltaic Electrical Overlay District.
“Years in the past, when the city utilized to turn out to be a Inexperienced Neighborhood, some grant funding got here together with that and a few expectations got here together with that,” Girshman defined. “A type of expectations was that you simply had a photo voltaic overlay district, which suggests a challenge may very well be in by-right — which suggests you wouldn’t must undergo a course of (for photo voltaic initiatives).”
The city designated 4 parcels of town-owned land for this district; nonetheless, a kind of parcels included Fournier Forest.
“We, final 12 months, began a course of to develop a (Forest) Stewardship Plan for the forest,” she continued. “It’s not suitable, most certainly, to be declared as a by-right photo voltaic district.”
Girshman stated the city checked with the state about eradicating that parcel from the overlay district, for which it obtained approval. Nonetheless, a proper modification is required to alter the bylaws.
The amendments proposed in Article of the bylaws — involving the allowing course of for photo voltaic services — have been the results of data gathered from different space cities, state pointers and greatest observe guides, in addition to an data session held in February, throughout which a number of abutters to the present challenge on Principal Poland Street supplied enter to enhance the present bylaw. Largely, these on the public data session on Feb. 18 favored additional rules on photo voltaic initiatives, together with requiring a particular allow, growing setbacks and incorporating screening or fencing.
The Zoom assembly, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 24, will be accessed at bit.ly/3-24SolarBylawPublicHearing or by calling 929-205-6099. Assembly ID: 857 3654 7359; Passcode: 614366.
Mary Byrne will be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne