SHIRLEY — An ongoing public hearing over a “notice of intent” from Prometheus for a new solar farm was again continued by the Conservation Commission Tuesday, as the developer’s engineer said he still hadn’t tended to all items requested by the board at the last meeting.
Cal Goldsmith of GPR Engineering, representing the developer, said he would have tended to a to-do list of items that member Jennifer Howald noted in a “Comment Letter” from the state Department of Environmental Protection, indicating that the site was not in compliance with groundwater regulations.
The hearing will continue on April 12.
Goldsmith said that each of the items in the DEP letter would be addressed and at Howald’s request agreed to provide the commissioners with copies of the reports he submits to the state agency, showing compliance.
Slated for some 50 acres of privately-owned land on Great Road owned by Rock Pile Realty Trust, some of it sparsely wooded and most of which is located under power lines, the new solar farm would add one more array to the town’s growing list of solar projects that are underway, under construction or under consideration, some of which have sparked controversy.
One solar project, sited on Water District land, was completed last year and is currently up and running, reaping benefits for the district and the town via leases and fees paid in lieu of taxes.
A solar facility in progress on two parcels of land off Patterson Road, however, was halted in its early stages and is currently on hold as opponents challenge it in land court. The developer for that project is Solar City and the land is owned by the town and the Water District, respectively.
Another project that Solar City had proposed for a site on Kittredge Road owned by National Grid has been withdrawn.
Some of the solar projects called for Conservation Commission approval, others did not. But they were all subject to review by the Planning Board, which had approved each of them, including the stalled Patterson Road project.
There was no public opposition at the recent hearing and the Conservation Commission, proceeding by the book, did not address big-picture issues but focused on its own checklist.
For example, the commissioners, following the approach laid out in the DEP letter, said they want to see discrepancies in the plan as presented cleared up, such as pinpointing culvert locations and mean high water line boundaries on the map, with wetlands flagged.
Goldsmith agreed to address the following items or, if they were already done, to show them in the plan and on the map.
n Install silt fence and hay bales at the lower limits of the site.
n Specify the results of soil perk testing.
n Add full flood-plan analysis to the map, including 10-year flood plan.