Speak Up! Should Amherst Declare A Temporary Moratorium On Large Scale Solar?

Speak Up!

Photo: Howard Lake (Flckr.com). (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Considerable public dialog has arisen in recent weeks over a proposed temporary town-wide moratorium on new large-scale solar installations. 

The measure, officially titled ARTICLE 16 TEMPORARY MORATORIUM on the Permitting and Approval of Large-Scale Ground Mounted Solar Energy Systems, including Photovoltaic Installations was introduced by District 2 town councilors Lynne Griesemer and Pat DeAngelis.

The bylaw was opposed in a 5-2 vote by the Planning Board back in December, and after some changes, endorsed 5-0 by the Town Council Community Resources Committee.

The main bone of contention is that large solar installations can require the clearcutting of existing forest land, and that Amherst, unlike many communities, has not yet passed a solar siting bylaw, and needs time to craft one.

Moratorium opponents argue that time is of the essence in developing renewable energy sources, and claim that solar panels are more valuable than trees for mitigating carbon-induced climate change.

A decision is expected at the February 28 meeting of the Town Council.Ā  As a zoning bylaw, the article will require a two-thirds supermajority to pass.

Please speak up and tell us how you think the Town Council should vote.

The survey will close at midnight on Thursday, February 24. Results will appear in the February 25 weekend edition of Indy.

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