Spencer Board of Aldermen calls special meeting to discuss delaying solar farms

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2017

By Amanda Raymond


SPENCER — The Spencer Board of Aldermen have called a special meeting to discuss delaying the application and construction of solar energy system sites and solar farms in the town.

The board will meet on Monday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. at 600 S. Salisbury Ave.

According to meeting documents, the board will consider approving a moratorium on solar energy system (SES) sites and solar farms for 60 days following adoption of the document.

According to the proposed ordinance to enact the moratorium, there are two solar energy system sites in the town. One of them is about 32 acres and is next to residential areas near the northern corridor of the town. The other has not been built yet but will be 100 acres and is “in close proximity to the 32-acre site.”

“…Both together is creating a clustering of SES sites adjacent to multiple residential uses of land and a main corridor to the town,” the ordinance states.

The ordinance also states that residents have complained about incompatible screenage at the 32-acre site. They have also complained about the sites’ construction, activity and operation and have said they are afraid of the potential negative impacts on residential, commerce, industrial and other property values.

The aldermen are concerned that the clustering of SES sites may negatively affect the “orderly development of land” and aesthetic features of Spencer.

The aldermen have asked Troy Powell, land management director, to create proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance that would keep SES sites and solar farms from being within one mile of each other and away from town entrances.

Powell will present the proposed amendments to the planning board in February and the Board of Aldermen in March. A public hearing on the amendments will also take place during the Board of Aldermen meeting in March.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.