Opinion: Vote ‘yes’ on article limiting solar fields
To the Editor,
“A Town lives and dies by its zoning!” This old adage is alive and well in Wareham. There are 6 zoning articles on the May 8th Annual Spring Town Meeting Warrant and 4 zoning articles on the Special Town Meeting!
Specifically, we write to ask voters for their support of Special Town Meeting Article 17 which is a Solar Bylaw Amendment. This is a Citizens Petition article proposed by a group of concerned, committed citizens who understand that the current bylaws are outdated and as such do not include newer guidance regarding more appropriate siting of solar arrays.
This amendment is the first step in updating Wareham’s outdated solar bylaw. As proposed, new arrays could be no more than 10 acres and must be on land that has been cleared for at least 5 years. This will put a stop to the clear-cutting of forests in the name of green energy.
Phase 2 includes working with Town Boards, Departments, industry experts and others to evaluate the newer federal & state guidance, revising the entire bylaw and bringing a complete package back to Town Meeting. Any updated bylaw would then override this amendment. But Phase 2 requires time.
Without passage of this Phase 1 amendment, huge projects will continue clear-cutting forests and changing Wareham’s topography. The Planning Board, Finance Committee and the Wareham Land Trust all support this article.
Please vote “YES” on Special Town Meeting Article #17.
Nancy McHale, Richard Swenson, Sandy Slavin