Ballston backs off of solar panel moratorium

Workshop on the issue set for Monday, Feb. 13

— In a unanimous decision at the Town of Ballston’s Town Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, it was decided that the town would not adopt a six-month moratorium on the placement of stand alone solar panels.

While no moratorium was imposed, it was decided that the Town Board would hold a workshop to discuss the matter on Monday, Feb. 13.

At issue are the required setback of stand alone solar panel installations, and the impacts of such installations on neighboring properties.The risk of fire will also be discussed at the workshop.

The board intends to gather public input and draft legislationc oncerning solar installations and will coordinate with the Planning Board as necessary to complete the process, which is expected to take a total of four to six weeks.

The Town Board has received comments and concerns from residents regarding pole-mounted solar panels, which do not fall under any special zoning requirements in Ballston.

“The integration of standalone apparatus in residential and largely agricultural parts of the town and in the commercial parts of the town emphasizes the need for consideration of such installations within the contextof current uses and zoning,” the local law under consideration read, in part.

Town attorney Murry Brower voiced concern that the four- to six-week timeframe was a bit ambitious, and suggested that the process may take a little longer. The board will have a better idea of the time needed to draft the legislation after the workshop.

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