To the Editor:
The Solar Bylaw proposed by Marion’s Energy Management Committee for Marion’s October 28 Town Meeting would allow for the placement of industrial and commercial projects in residential neighborhoods. Solar Farms are commercial and industrial electrical generating facilities producing electricity for sale and distribution through the electrical grid. To protect Marion’s residential neighborhoods, Marion zoning limits commercial and industrial development to designated zoning districts shown on the town’s zoning map. Such zoning provides clarity and certainty as to the placement of such projects. It directs commercial and industrial development that is consistent with Marion’s zoning public policy.
Allowing solar farms in residential districts is an intrusion and introduction of industrial and commercial project development in residential neighborhoods. This is bad public policy, as it sets a precedent by allowing other types of commercial and industrial development in residential districts in the future. The Marion Planning Board and the Marion Energy Management Committee do not agree on this important public policy issue for our town. The Planning Board favors the introduction of a solar overlay district, which would identify specific areas of town where solar farms would be allowed. The solar overlay district would be shown on the town’s zoning map. This would provide clarity and certainty as to the zoning placement for these industrial and commercial electrical generating projects. Proper zoning is vital for directing the future development of commercial and industrial projects in our town and protects the integrity of Marion’s residential neighborhoods.
Ted North, Marion
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