Block Island Times

Solar siting changes pass Public Hearing

Two years after request was submitted to the Planning Board by Entech Engineering owner Chris Warfel seeking to change the rules against placing solar arrays in front yards, revised Zoning Ordinances on solar siting finally went to a Public Hearing before the Town Council on March 1. The amendments were unanimously approved.
Town Planner Alison Ring, who has been working on the amendments with the Planning Board, provided some background on the solar ordinance proposals.
“The revisions to the solar ordinance originated from a request the council had received from Chris Warfel. The main objective overall of the Zoning amendment request that you had received was to achieve greater flexibility in the siting of solar energy systems within the front setback of a property where appropriate,” said Ring. “At the time, when the Planning Board received this, the state was in the process of finalizing some solar siting guidance and a model ordinance for municipalities. The Planning Board wanted to take the opportunity to review that guidance material and also they were able to get a review of our current solar ordinance – an optional review by the state. We wanted to go through that process and review

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