Solar Clarifications Ready for Town Meeting

Two Public Hearings were held back to back on two minor changes to the Solar Bylaw passed by the town at town meeting last fall.  The board voted on a second line in the footnote section of the Table of Principal Use Regulations which clarifies legal definitions of the words ‘solar garden’ and ‘solar systems’.  The footnote reads: Solar Farms include ground-mounted solar PV Systems as defined in Sections 8.13.2 and 16.2.7 of the Zoning Bylaw.  The reference was to the solar garden approved for installation at the town dump.

“This is being done so there will be no confusion with legal terms and definitions for the general public,” said William Saltonstall, who spoke on behalf of the Marion Energy Management Committee.  Both the Planning Board and the EMC worked for over a year to hammer out the multiple page bylaw, which was approved at town meeting.  The other item was a vote to ‘pass over’ one line in the table which was no longer needed.

Next up the board discussed the new zoning map of the Town of Marion dated April 22, 2014.  John Rockwell presented his final draft and said that a minor typographical error in the warrant item for the map needs to be addressed.  Chairman Patricia McArdle, with board approval, will speak with Town Moderator David Titus on how to address the slight error and relate it to the residents at the meeting.

The map includes seventeen districts including: Residence A, Residence B, Residence C, Residence D, Residence E, General Business, Marine Business, Limited Industrial, Limited Business, Flood Hazard District, Water Supply Protection District, Aquifer Protection District, Open Space Development District, Surface Water District, Wireless Communications Facilities Overlay District, Sippican River Overlay District and a Municipal Solar Overlay District.

The acceptance of the map will be voted upon at town meeting in May and if approved, forwarded to the Attorney General’s office as required.

The pdf file of the map will soon be available to the public on the town web site and on the Planning Board section of the site.

The boards’ hopes to hire a part time planner were dashed by the lack of applicants for the position.  The deadline for applications was April 15, 2014.  “The total price (cost to contract) was beyond what we have,” said board member Norm Hills.  The board subcommittee, consisting of Norm Hills and Rico Ferrari, met with the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) to create a new contractual proposal based on the boards’ priorities and most pressing needs and try to get funding for the part time position to work on a specific area.  The subcommittee will report on the issue at their next meeting on May 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry


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