MILFORD – The town may not be going green after all, as the Planning Board last night said it does not support making certain zoning bylaw changes to receive a Green Community grant.
After reviewing information about a Green Communities designation offered by the state Department of Energy Resources, and proposed by the town’s Renewable Energy Advisory Committee, the board said it will not support amendments that they say could be harmful to the town.
“The Planning Board will not support zoning bylaw amendments that put the town at risk just to receive a designation, or just to receive a grant,” the board said in a note it decided to send to Town Administrator Louis Celozzi.
In August, the advisory committee and selectmen agreed to get feedback on the Green Communities designation from department heads and town boards.
In the memo to Celozzi, Planning Board members said they are concerned with a requirement to provide sites for renewable or alternative energy generating facilities, like wind turbines.
“This seems contrary to the underlying principle of the zoning bylaw to protect residential neighborhoods by separating incompatible uses. Certain solar panels are currently permitted so long as energy is not sold back to a utility. Wind energy is very problematic in several ways, not the least of which is the installation of towers for turbines,” the memo said.
Members said a wind turbine’s excessive height and required “fall zone” space would create an issue in residential areas and “eliminate such uses from approximately 85 percent of the town.”
In other business, the board agreed it wants to work with Celozzi and selectmen to determine parking bylaws for residents who live on the upper floors of multifamily homes in downtown Milford and who typically park their cars on the street.
Currently parking is permitted in the municipal lots on a first-come, first-served basis.
The board said it wants to meet with selectmen to determine how many spots each upper residence should be allotted, and what the requirements should be.
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