Proposed Earth Day resolutions and actions for Chariho and Hopkinton to honor the principles of REPAIR, RESTORE, RENOVATE, RECYCLE:
1. Resolve to abandon plans to build a new all-in-one district elementary school, and instead, apply for grants and spend the funds on renovating and replacing all fossil fuel heating and lighting systems in the Chariho District with roof- and ground-mounted solar and geothermal heat-pump systems by year 2030 in accordance with the new national goals announced by President Biden on Earth Day 2021.
2. Immediately restore forests in Hopkinton to qualifying silviculture status in the Farm Viability Ordinance in accordance with Rhode Island DEM Division of Agriculture regulations. These woodlands produce firewood, fiber for mulch and biomass pellets, as well as timber for native lumber, so should be qualified to install appropriately sized solar arrays as permitted by state law.
3. Immediately and publicly resolve to recognize that Hopkinton’s zoning designation of RFR 80 means Rural Farm Residential, which gives our rural farms precedence over residences in that zone. These agricultural businesses repair our glacial till soils, recycle most of their wastes, provide us food and keep our spaces open, so they should be honored not punished.
4. Immediately restore standard Accessory Use permitting and 30-foot setback and screening requirements for ground-mounted solar systems to both R1 and RFR80 residential zones in Hopkinton, recognizing that generators, woodburning exterior furnaces and utility poles, all permitted without required screening, are ugly too, but we all must do our part to save the planet.
5. Resolve to organize a Hopkinton committee of volunteer engineering and construction specialists chaired by the building inspector to conduct summertime inspections of the Hope Valley and Ashaway schools to be sure that the Chariho District is satisfactorily repairing and renovating our Blue Ribbon schools in accordance with their contractual agreement with the town, especially with energy conservation in mind.