Wendell  to focus on green designation

Town meeting on Thursday

WENDELL — Voters will be asked to approve a number of additions to the bylaws targeting alternative and renewable energy at Thursday’s special town meeting.

Town Coordinator Nancy Aldrich said the agenda contains a number of changes to the bylaws as part of an effort to achieve Green Community status.

Conferred by the state, the designation brings eligibility for grants toward energy-related projects.

Up for approval are additions to the zoning bylaws allowing ground mounted solar installations with a generating capacity of 10 kilowatts or less in residential areas by right.

Larger systems would be allowed on industrial land subject to site plan review by the Planning Board.

If approved, Article 6 would add a section to the zoning establishing regulations for the construction, operation, repair and removal of the larger-scale installations, with measures intended to minimize aesthetic and environmental impacts and protect the town from responsibility for abandoned solar farms.

To fulfill another Green Communities requirement, voters are asked to adopt an energy code regulating the design and construction of buildings.

To receive the Green Community designation towns must:

∎ Provide zones for renewable or alternative energy research and development, manufacture or generation.

∎ Provide expedited permitting for renewable or alternative energy projects.

∎ Establish a baseline of municipal energy use and work to reduce use by 20 percent over five years.

∎ Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, where practical.

∎ Require all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial construction to adopt energy efficiency, water conservation and other renewable or alternative energy technologies.

Added to the list this year, Conway, Gill, Northfield and Sunderland each became eligible for grants in the area of $140,000.

Other additions to the zoning bylaws would add an associate member to both the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.

Also up for approval at the meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. in Town Hall:

∎  Change the name of the eastern section of Old Farley Road to Millers Road.Transfer $1,700 from the Fiske Pond Dam Inspection Fund to the Fiske Pond Stewardship Fund.

∎  $179.96 to pay a prior year’s Board of Assessors bill.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
ccurtis@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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