The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 19, 2010

Planning Board discusses Green Communities initiative

On November 8 several members of Carlisle’s Energy Task Force met with the Planning Board to move forward on one of the five criteria for a town to receive “Green Community” designation. Green Communities are eligible to apply for grants to finance all or a portion of the cost of studying, designing, constructing and implementing energy efficiency activities. (See “Can Carlisle become a green community? Maybe….”, in the October 1 issue of the Mosquito).

Planning Board Chair David Freedman said, “We are here to support the Energy Task Force in moving forward on a possible amendment to the bylaws to be presented at Town Meeting.” The criterion being addressed is the requirement that the town provide “as-of-right siting” in designated locations for renewable/alternative energy generation, research and development, or manufacturing facilities. Although certain other zoning bylaws like wetland zoning would apply, a special permit would not be required for such a facility within the designated overlay district.

Consensus of the group was that neither a manufacturing facility nor a large-scale facility for generation of power by wind are practical for Carlisle. The task force is suggesting adoption of a zoning bylaw amendment to establish a Solar Voltaic Facilities Overlay District. Within that overlay district as-of-right siting would be permitted. The Conant Land (adjacent to the transfer station) and the back of Banta-Davis were mentioned as two possible locations.

At this time, individual roof-mounted solar systems are permitted in all zoning districts; free standing and large-scale facilities are not.

A firm date for the next meeting with the task force was not set; however, a public hearing will have to be advertised and scheduled on all proposed zoning bylaw changes prior to Town Meeting. ∆

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