Mattapoisett Planning Board

Dear Editor,

            On April 6th, the Planning Board held its virtual meeting through “go to meeting”. Despite great efforts by individuals responsible for the meeting, it was very disjointed and, in places, very hard to follow. Jonathan Silverstein, Town Council, provided clarification of the Zoning Board of Appeals decision to deny NextGrid their application to build a free-standing solar array in a residential area off of Bowman Road. He discussed the applicants appeal to the land court and explained the town’s decision to seek solutions to NextGrid’s legal challenge rather than go to court.

            Daniel Serber presented NextGrid’s case along with Mr. Chris King of Atlantic Design and a representative of NextGrid. Their presentation went on for over three hours and questions were asked by the members of the Planning Board for clarification of the plans, with no input by town citizens objecting to NextGrid’s proposal. The only opposition was a letter written by Brad Hathaway stating his opposition. It should be noted that Mr. King requested that public comment should be in written form rather than verbal participation; to which Nathan Ketchal responded that all citizens must be heard. As a result, the Planning Board voted for a continuance, much to the disappointment of the NextGrid’s contingency.

            It was only a few years ago that the Planning Board denied Tedeschi the right to have a drive through window in their establishment. Due to opposition by the developer and their threatened legal action against the town, the Zoning Board of Appeals was given the opportunity to override the Planning Board’s decision. Now that the powers of the town wish to abdicate their duties to the citizens of the town and avoid legal confrontation, they request that the Planning Board be given the chance to override the Zoning Board of Appeals. WHICH WAY IS IT, POWERS TO BE. WHO MAKES THE DECISION THIS TIME? If one board doesn’t go along with you, you just change the board.

            To allow a California entity to come in to Mattapoisett, ruin a forest and walk away with plenty of money at our expense doesn’t make sense. Putting this Solar array in the precarious position of a hurricane flood zone only endangers the people of Mattapoisett, not the carpetbaggers from California.

            This whole project should be left until this Coronavirus allows us to meet in a proper venue.

Dr. Paul E. Osenkowski, Mattapoisett

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