Snipatuit Solar Project Will Wait

The Rochester Planning Board was greeted at its March 23 meeting with a request from applicant Snipatuit Road Solar, LLC to continue its public hearing to further formulate a response to the town’s peer review.

            A brief discussion by board members referenced the town’s request that the access road be widen to 16 feet and Snipatuit Road Solar’s ongoing task to accomplish that.

            The applicant proposes an approximately 4.8-megawatt DC, ground-mounted solar array off of Snipatuit Road within a residential/agricultural district, within the Mattapoisett River Valley Watershed partially within a groundwater-protection district and the flood-plain overlay district. The property owners are Lisa Holden, trustee, Rochester Realty Trust and Aquidneck Nominee Trust, et al., and Kevin and Cassandra Cassidy.

            Continued from March 10, the March 23 public hearing was continued to Monday, April 13, at 7:00 pm.

            Town Planner Steve Starrett told the board there is a pre-construction meeting scheduled for this week on the Eldridge Bog and a review on a nearby bog in a similar situation. The Board of Health, reported Starrett, is waiting on 53G escrow funds, to which it was suggested the Board of Health remains empowered by its leverage on approval of the project’s septic system.

            The Planning Board discussed a long list of 53G escrow accounts funded by applicants that the board draws upon to pay peer-review fees and associated expenses. Over a dozen applicants were mentioned, some to be released from their escrow accounts (the money sent back to the applicant), and some to be further examined via site visits that Planning Board Chairman Arnie Johnson plans to arrange.

            In other business, the Planning Board voted to approve invoices from Field Engineering in the amounts of $750 and $375 for its peer-review work on the respective Cushman Road Solar and Village at Plumb Corner projects.

            The next meeting of the Rochester Planning Board is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13, at 7:00 pm.

Rochester Planning Board

By Mick Colageo

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