|Solar Company Reassessing Array For Pontoosuc Lake Country Club|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
02:22AM / Friday, November 30, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nexamp believes there is still a path to getting a solar array at Pontoosuc Country Club.
The Boston-based company was just recently denied by the Conservation Commission
because of the access road to the proposed 6.5-megawatt array infringed on wetlands. The array was hotly contested among the neighbors, who mounted a coordinated opposition to the project at Conservation Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals meetings on it.
In the wake of that denial, Nexamp's business development manager Joseph Fiori asked the Zoning Board of Appeals to hold off on voting for that permit in hopes to reassess the project.
"We have our work cut out for us. We do think there are solutions and we want to be able to propose those solutions in a comprehensive way," Fiori told the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday.
The ZBA agreed to table its vote until January to give Nexamp time to make any changes to the proposal and seek either an appeal, resubmit a new plan, or find an alternative that does not require the Conservation Commission's approval for the access road. Fiori said the company hasn't had time to look at alternatives yet.
"We received today the actual order [from ConCom] and have read through those comments this morning and we are sort of waiting on that to determine how best to address those concerns," he said on Wednesday.
The issue has been before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a few months. In October, there was a lengthy meeting with Nexamp presenting its plans and the neighbors giving a presentation opposing it. The ZBA later held a site visit to see the lay of the land themselves.
ZBA member Esther Bolan said she was willing to vote on it Wednesday night but the other members agreed to give Nexamp a chance to further address concerns raised by the ZBA, the ConCom, and the neighbors.
"There is a lot to address," ZBA Chairman Albert Ingegni.
Ingegni also said the ZBA was ready to cast a vote on the issue Wednesday night. The ZBA and the ConCom approvals are separate and have different focuses. However, the ZBA prefers to have any Conservation Commissions issues addressed first for instances such as this when changes could be required.
The neighbors who have been fighting the plans have realized that the victory with the Conservation Commission isn't the end and had attended the ZBA meeting in great numbers only to have the hearing continued.