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Scenic byway designation could derail Greenville solar development

Mar 25, 2021 5:45 am

Andrea Macko is reporting for Porcupine Soup a decades-old decision by New York state could stop plans for a commercial solar farm on East Red Mill Road in Greenville. Cypress Creek Renewables first presented the project to town officials four years ago. Since then, there have been multiple meetings, extensive research, hearings and a 640-page application was submitted to the town. Located on 23 acres, the project requires site plan review as well as approval of setback variances. The property is owned by James Weeks and it would be leased by Cypress Creek. The project would produce enough energy to power an estimated 500 to 600 single family homes each year. But, the entire project may be in jeopardy because East Red Mill Road is a New York State designated Scenic Byway. State Scenic Byways are transportation corridors of particular statewide interest, and are representative of a region's scenic, recreational, cultural, natural, historic or of archaeological significance. “I can understand why this was missed,” said board member Travis Richards, who did not elaborate on what or who sparked him to investigate the matter. In 1991 New York State officially designated two sections of roadways as scenic roads by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: a 0.45-mile section of East Red Mill and a 0.8-mile section of Plattekill Road. Both were selected for their viewshed. Richards pointed out the designated section of East Red Mill Road runs directly in front of where the solar project is proposed. It is unknown if Red Mill Solar will be on the town planning board meeting agenda in April. Read the full story at porcupinesoup [dot] com.

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