Residents of Bernett Drive in Fredonia slammed a proposed photo voltaic farm on Van Buren Street that might run up towards their properties, throughout a Pomfret City Board listening to Wednesday.
City Clerk Allison Vento opened the listening to by studying a letter she obtained from a bunch of residents of the road. They flatly said that they don’t assume a photo voltaic farm must be sited close to them.
“We have now important security considerations. For instance, the neighborhood youngsters will likely be curious in regards to the photo voltaic array tools so near their yard and be tempted to discover harmful areas close to the photo voltaic arrays and transformers,” the letter states.
The residents additionally wrote that their land values would seemingly lower. They cited “unfavourable visible and aesthetic impacts.” Woodland “would get replaced by a stark view of an industrial photo voltaic array.” The letter asserted that even with bushes planted to display the photo voltaic panels from the properties, the farm would nonetheless be partially seen, and an absence of foliage throughout a part of the 12 months would make it much more apparent then.
Issues had been additionally expressed over storm water drainage points, and a lack of pure forest and wetland habitat. The Bernett Drive residents demanded plenty of modifications, together with a 12-foot-tall earthen berm, to the plan if it does go ahead. However they made clear they need the city board to disclaim a particular use allow for the challenge.
“That is an allowable use beneath the city’s photo voltaic legislation,” stated John Reagan of RIC Power, the outfit that’s proposing the farm. He said no substances within the photo voltaic panels will leach out, no glare will come from them and no noise will likely be heard exterior of the farm fence to be positioned on the property strains.
“The challenge enjoys some pure screening which we are going to improve with devoted plantings,” he stated.
Reagan then revealed that the proposed structure of the farm acquired revised because of considerations from city officers and residents. “We considerably decreased the quantity of photo voltaic panels and elevated the setbacks fairly a bit,” he stated. They now suggest to maintain all tools 160 ft from the farm fence. The Bernett Drive residents sought a 200-foot setback of their letter.
Reagan additionally asserted that in line with RIC Power’s research, drainage points within the space is not going to be worsened by the photo voltaic farm.
As for the berm, “We studied that and we suggest there not be a berm,” he stated. The berm would require a number of supplies, it will disturb the wetlands the residents wish to defend, and it might worsen the drainage points within the neighborhood. Reagan stated present bushes and deliberate plantings must be enough to display the property from close by properties.
Criticism of the plan prolonged past the letter learn by Vento. Each Pomfret residents and officers expressed deep considerations on the listening to, whether or not in individual or on Zoom.
“I’ll have the ability to see these panels it doesn’t matter what you set in there,” stated Zen Olow. He added that decommissioned photo voltaic farms in Niagara County have wound up categorized as brownfields.
Reagan responded, “We’re obligated to keep up the vegetative cowl throughout the lifetime of the challenge,” and the land could be returned to its authentic state as soon as the photo voltaic farm shut down. He stated he didn’t perceive Olow’s touch upon the brownfields.
One other resident reiterated the letter’s concern about property values. Additionally, Brett Christy of the Pomfret City Board said that the challenge would come with eight utility poles that weren’t included on the post-construction view submitted within the proposal. An RIC consultant who Zoomed in acknowledged that the utility poles had been wanted as a degree of reference to Nationwide Grid tools on Van Buren Street.
“I can’t consider with all of the empty fields in Fredonia, you selected that space,” Linda Granata instructed the RIC representatives. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Granata and different residents stated they weren’t notified of something from RIC, they solely obtained notices from the city in regards to the public listening to. Reagan — who was clearly on the defensive by the top of the listening to — said the corporate despatched out mailings, and he would look into after they had been despatched.
The City Board was unable to decide on a allow for the photo voltaic farm Wednesday. That’s as a result of the matter needed to be referred to the Chautauqua County Planning Board, which has 30 days from date of referral to reply with its opinions. Vento stated she has not but obtained such a response.
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