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Green Development pitches solar on Pacheco property  

While the two projects target the same parcel behind the Pacheco homes, the wind turbine isn’t completely off the table. After the Zoning Board unanimously rejected the turbine in July, the company appealed the decision in Superior Court. The town filed an answer to the appeal in late October, leaving the next move in the court process in the developer’s hands. Asked by Planning Board member Jeff Porter whether the solar application meant the wind turbine was dead, Goodier acknowledged the appeal remains active.

Credit:  By Lauren Clem, Valley Breeze Staff Writer | 12/11/2019 | www.valleybreeze.com ~~

NORTH SMITHFIELD – In the latest twist for a property once considered for a wind turbine, Green Development is now looking to build a solar farm on land owned by the Pacheco family at 810 Old Smithfield Road.

Last week, the North Kingstown-based company pitched a proposal to the Planning Board involving a two-megawatt solar facility. The facility would be built on the same land once targeted for a controverisal wind turbine.

According to Nicholas Goodier, an attorney for the developer, the proposal complies with both the current town solar ordinance as well as amendments under consideration by the Town Council. If approved as presented, the panels would cover a little less than six acres of land in a partially wooded, partially open area.

According to Eric Prive, project manager for DiPrete Engineering, the panels will be located at least 160 feet from any neighboring properties and stand no higher than 15 feet. That will make them virtually invisible to neighbors, he said, who were strongly opposed to the previous proposal on the basis of noise and potential visual impact.

“Obviously, that was a concern on this site previously. What was proposed previously was a little more visible to neighbors,” he said.

While the two projects target the same parcel behind the Pacheco homes, the wind turbine isn’t completely off the table. After the Zoning Board unanimously rejected the turbine in July, the company appealed the decision in Superior Court. The town filed an answer to the appeal in late October, leaving the next move in the court process in the developer’s hands.

Asked by Planning Board member Jeff Porter whether the solar application meant the wind turbine was dead, Goodier acknowledged the appeal remains active.

“We’re not aggressively pushing the appeal currently while this proposal’s being considered,” he said.

Also present at last week’s meeting was Ruth Pacheco, the property owner who promoted the turbine as a way to preserve her family’s historic farm. Speaking to The Breeze after the meeting, Pacheco acknowledged the solar farm wasn’t her first choice for the property but will allow them to continue to make use of the land.

“It’s better than nothing. The land is there,” she said.

The property is currently used for beekeeping and participates in the state’s Farm, Forest and Open Space program. According to representatives from the developer, those activities will continue after the solar farm is built and could even benefit from a pollinator seed mix planned for the area covered by panels.

The project, currently at its pre-application stage, did not require a vote by board members.

Source:  By Lauren Clem, Valley Breeze Staff Writer | 12/11/2019 | www.valleybreeze.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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