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Kinderhook climate committee recommends fewer solar farm restrictions

Apr 04, 2017 12:04 am

Emilia Teasdale is reporting in The Columbia Paper the Kinderhook Smart Climate Committee met last week to review proposed changes to the town’s zoning laws for solar panels. The town currently has a moratorium on ground-mounted solar panels in place, which includes solar farms, while the town considers how to regulate them. The Climate Committee has now asked the portion of the law that prohibits solar farms in all zoning districts be removed. Committee member Mark Leinung said he was against the ban, especially since there are already laws for setbacks and the town Zoning Board of Appeals would have to grant a special use permit for that type of facility. The committee also recommended the town drop its 15-acre limit on farms, as well. Town Code Enforcement Officer Wayne Voss disagreed, saying allowing solar farms is "not a good idea." Voss argued that land should not go to companies that would not increase the tax base. He said the only people making money on a solar farm are the property owners and utility companies. Voss also expressed a concern that the equipment would eventually be abandoned after it was no longer in use. The town Codes Committee has already looked at local laws and suggested changes, Supervisor Pat Grattan said. It is unknown at this point when the Town Board will review the changes. The Town Board does expect to adopt the state Unified Solar Permit law. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.

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