Solar Developer Withdraws Variance Request

Solar developer Borrego Solar Systems withdrew its application for a variance pertaining to a proposed solar array field at 75 Vaughan Hill Road, which the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals voted to accept on August 23, allowing the withdrawal of the application without prejudice.

The variance was a request to allow a solar energy generating facility within 100 feet of the side and rear setbacks, but it was filed incorrectly, and, therefore, must be re-filed and re-advertised before a public hearing can be opened.

Borrego Solar Systems is the developer of a proposed solar array field at the corner of Mendell Road and Rounseville Road, a project that is currently in litigation.

In other matters, Heather DeSousa of 261 County Road received a Special Permit to convert her single-family house into a two-family with a one-story addition to provide a kitchen, bath, and one bedroom for her aging parents. As the ZBA considered the request, DeSousa added, “My plan is to stay there. I know the concern is always rental property. … I’m 43 years old and I have a 30-year mortgage on the house, so as of right now, I’m not going anywhere.”

As part of the approval, DeSousa is prohibited from renting out the unit at any time in the future, and at least one unit on the property must be owner-occupied at all times.

The public hearing for the Variance application filed by Jake Goyette of Snow’s Pond Road was continued until September 20 because there was no quorum. ZBA member Kirby Gilmore had to recuse himself for what he deemed a conflict of interest, and with only four members present, the board could not hear the matter.

Chairman Richard Cutler said the hearing would be held at the Council on Aging, saying, “It looks like we’ve got a lot of people interested in this particular issue.”

The next meeting of the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for September 13 at 7:15 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals

By Jean Perry


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