Recently three members of the Hopkinton Town Council voted in favor of rezoning 172 acres of residential land, directly abutting over 60 homes, to commercial zoning to facilitate a massive solar plant.
They did so after the residents showed up at the hearings and pleaded, reasoned and cried; and after receiving countless heartfelt letters and emails voicing legitimate concerns.
It took many, many lies to get to the vote on June 10th ... here are just a few of the standouts:
The developer said they would meet the requirements of the newly adopted solar ordinance with land coverage of 3% or 3 acres, whichever is less — yet this proposal is for 64 acres. That was a lie.
The developer said of the proposed 70,000 panels taking the place of 6,700 trees: “You won’t even know it’s there.” That was a lie.
During her monotonous diatribe, one town councilor very carefully said, “you won’t see it from the first floor” ... very clever, but we saw what you did there! Nevermind that almost all the homes are two-story!
Another town councilor, while justifying her vote, said “the proposed changes are suitable to the character of the location in question.” Seriously, who do you think you’re kidding? That’s a lie.
Then a councilor introduced a letter stating that there would be no negative property value impact to abutters. Not only is this ridiculous, but the information was provided after the hearing was closed. Par for the course and — you guessed it — a lie.
“The property will automatically revert back to residential afterward.” It sure sounded good, but it was ... a lie!
Now let’s get to the truth:
The truth is ... this is a textbook case of spot zoning.
The truth is ... the developer has no right to put more than 3% or 3 acres on the land.
The truth is ... the abutters will defnitely know it’s there.
The truth is ... of course the property values will be negatively impacted.
The truth is ... the Skunk Hill proposal site is the worst place you could have considered for an industrial solar facility.
The truth is ... 172 acres will remain commercially zoned.
The truth is ... the three yes votes did not consider one word of the residents’ concerns — we may as well have stayed home. They had their minds made up long before the public hearings.
This is far from over ... the truth has a way of shining through.
NOTE: To watch our Town Council President Frank Landolfi attempt to silence me, thereby interfering with my First Amendment rights, during the public forum portion of the July 1 Hopkinton Town Council meeting, go to the Hopkintonri.org website and click on meetings at the top of the page. Choose the video option and start at minute 42.