Northborough Planning Board endorses solar farm moratorium
By John Swinconeck, Contributing Writer
The board’s vote included an amendment to ensure smaller solar facilities would be unaffected.
The article was put forth by Greg Roody of Moore Lane after an abutter, Ziad Ramadan, expressed interest in building a large network of solar panels on residential property.
Ramadan’s proposal is grandfathered for three years and would be unaffected by a moratorium, according to Planning Board Chairman Rick Leif.
All rooftop solar installations would still be allowed under the moratorium, according to Roody. So would small, ground-based solar arrays that generate less than 256 kilowatts. “It’s not a ban on solar power,” said Roody.
However, Roody said he feared that large solar facilities, like the one proposed by Ramadan, will result in forested areas being raised and replaced with a graded and filled space surrounded by razor wire that is “not appropriate for residential areas.”
There are solar farms in Westborough and Shrewsbury, but none in Northborough.
Roody said the moratorium will give the town time to “come up with proper zoning bylaw to restrict large scale solar farms” by the April Town Meeting.
Special Town Meeting will be held 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 28, at Algonquin Regional High School.
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