In response to “Zoning abuse is tearing Hopkinton apart,” published in the April 9 issue of The Westerly Sun, the writer is absolutely correct: There are neighbors not talking to neighbors.
Most solar fields cannot be seen from the road. When a solar field is in place, houses are not there, kids are not there, no traffic, there is no cost to the town and the town receives tax money to maintain the tax base.
Future solar fields have enough buffer that they will never be seen. You will never know they are there.
If you read the Town of Hopkinton 2016 Comprehensive Plan:
- Page 40 in Rhode Island’s Energy Plan, Energy 2035 (Report 120) aims to create sustainable and affordable energy infrastructure that can meet the state’s energy demands etc.
- Page 43 on renewable energy: The Town of Hopkinton can benefit from renewable energy generating technologies as a way to decrease long term energy costs, increase the town’s energy independence, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Page 55, Policy PSD17: Encourage renewable energy projects in the private sector.
- Recommendation 18: Consider expanding the current zoning regulations to allow photovoltaic installations in residential districts.
- Page 66: Goals Procedures and Recommendations
- Goal 1: To provide for the expansion of the tax base by encouraging development of new and existing light and/or heavy industrial & office/commercial business.
- So the only people who are in violation of the comprehensive plan is the Planning Board that recommends no and the Town Council that votes no.
Anything extra that can be negotiated between the Town Council and the developer is a plus for the entire town. These extras would only go in the developer’s pocket; better the town’s pocket.
More houses and kids increase taxes. Maybe you can afford an increase, but for some of us who have been in town a long time or are on a fixed income, we cannot afford an increase.