This article by Chris Mays originally appeared April 10 in the Brattleboro Reformer.
VERNON, Vt. — Select Board and Planning Commission members say proposed solar projects would go against the town plan, which seeks to safeguard agricultural land.
“For me, when you look at the history of this town, the people who came long before us were always so careful,” Planning Commission member Patty O’Donnell told the Select Board during a meeting April 3. “They were preserving farmland. That’s why we have the Farmland Protection Fund. It’s always been important to the people in this town to preserve our history. Because that’s what it is. Our history.”
O’Donnell said agricultural land is not to be used for industrial development, according to the town plan.
Her group had not voted last month on Green Lantern’s proposal to build two 150-kilowatt arrays on a parcel on Pond Road. Instead, the Select Board was asked to weigh in.
“Even if we did vote on it,” O’Donnell said, “it would come here anyway.”
Green Lantern asked the town to designate the land owned by Christine Fredericks and Steve Zaluzny as a “preferred site” for solar in order to make the project more favorable to state regulators. Such sites are defined, according to Vermont Public Utility Commission rules, as specific locations where siting of renewable energy facilities has been supported by a municipal body and a regional planning commission.
Read full story at the Brattleboro Reformer.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)