Planners approve Novel Energy Systems for solar development

by Mary Grow

At their Nov. 28 meeting, China planning board members unanimously approved Novel Energy Systems’ application for a solar development, probably a community solar farm, on the section of Parmenter Hill Road known as Moe’s Mountain.

The application was first discussed at the board’s Sept. 26 meeting (see the Oct. 5 issue of The Town Line, p. 2). A public hearing was held at the Nov. 14 meeting (see the Nov. 23 issue of The Town Line, p. 2).

Board members’ questions and requests for clarification covered buffers around the development, run-off controls, proposed lighting (only over a sign with emergency numbers), noise, traffic and other disturbances (after construction is complete, none) and other topics related to the 15 criteria a development must meet under China’s ordinances.

Approval came with several conditions, mostly routine (like requiring a letter from the appropriate local fire chief saying the project has adequate emergency access). Novel representative Ralph Addonizio accepted all without objection.

Board members required Novel to provide the town a copy of the state’s approval of the project’s decommissioning plan, and to notify China’s codes officer of the construction supervisor’s name when that person is chosen (probably in the spring, Addonizio said).

After the final vote, board co-chairman James Wilkens reminded Addonizio that there is a 30-day appeal period. None of the neighbors who testified and asked questions at the Nov. 14 hearing attended the Nov. 28 meeting.

In other business Nov. 28, board members postponed discussion of two pending town ordinances. They intend to review another version of a solar ordinance before their next meeting; and to talk with select board members about draft revisions to China’s Planning Board Ordinance, probably at the Dec. 4 select board meeting.

Wilkens announced that codes officer Zachary Gosselin resigned and Nicholas French has returned to the position.

The next planning board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 12. Wilkens canceled the second December meeting, which would have been Dec. 26; no one objected.


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