Planning Board keeps talking Town Meeting articles

Apr 21, 2021

The Planning Board continued to discuss zoning bylaws that will be up for votes at the May 8 Town Meeting at their April 20 meeting.

The board voted to recommend the passage of a citizens petition that would limit new ground-mounted solar farms to between three and ten acres in size on land that must have been cleared of trees for at least five years. A representative of Borrego Solar, the company looking to build three large solar fields on A.D. Makepeace Land, asked that it be made explicit that the bylaw would not apply to projects already approved or received by the town, which the board agreed with.

Planning Board member Richard Swenson described the bylaw, written by Wareham Land Trust Treasurer Nancy McHale and others, as a “firewall” that would temporarily slow the influx of solar farms while the town works to craft a comprehensive law about alternative energy like solar farms and wind turbines.

The Planning Board did not vote on whether or not to recommend passage of the citizens' petition that would encourage affordable housing development by individual property owners rather than through 40B, after expressing some concern about the article’s wide scope and the fact that it might confuse voters.

The Planning Board also did not vote on whether or not to recommend passage of an article that would limit the number of marijuana delivery operators to three, deciding to wait until April 26 to discuss it with Town Planner Ken Buckland so the members could be sure they understood the issue.

The board also delayed a vote on whether or not the Wareham Village rezoning will need to be approved by a simple majority or two-thirds of voters.