Wednesday, February 1, 2012
School Committee approves action plan towards rooftop solar panels on schools by fall.
Moments after the Belmont School Committee approved moving forward on bringing solar energy to each of Belmont's schools, Roger Colton was in a celebratory mood. In the small vestibule at the Chenery Middle School Tuesday night, Jan. 31, the co-chairman of the Belmont Energy Committee passed out fancy bottles of an unknown liquid to fellow co-chair Ian Todreas and solar power campaigner Phil Thayer to celebrate what each viewed as a historic moment for Belmont's environmental future. "I so excited that it's hard to express," said Colton who said the vote will not only help reduce energy costs for Belmont schools but "will spur a real significant move throughout town for solar and other alternative energy." The culmination of "a year-and-…
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Proposed zoning change goes against existing state law promoting solar energy systems.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
To the editor: The special Town Meeting is considering the adoption of a Solar Power Generation by-law zoning amendment, Article 8. The zoning by-laws do not need to be amended to address these systems in detail. Also, the draft fails to abide by both the spirit and letter of Massachusetts General Law 40A Section 3, which states that “no zoning ordinance or by-law shall prohibit or unreasonably regulate the installation of solar energy systems or the building of structures that facilitate the collection of solar energy, except where necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare.” If there is a potential nuisance arising from the use of these systems, then the problem is best addressed by amending the nuisance elements of …
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
But critics contend even limited restrictions will deter many from seeking solar power in Belmont.
January's Special Town Meeting will vote on an amended zoning bylaw placing limitations on solar power generation systems in town but only after the Planning Board used more precise language in the proposed changes to placate residents fears that any restrictions would be detrimental to bringing solar power to Belmont. But an official with the state's energy department wrote that an important segment of the measure requiring a special permit created "an unwarranted barrier" to those seeking to place solar panels on their homes and property. After researching and discussing the proposed bylaw for several months and holding a public hearing a fortnight ago, the Planning Board met on Tuesday, Nov. 29 in Town Hall to discuss those community …
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Question reasonableness of limited restrictions; aesthetics or carbon footprint on center stage.
Members of a Belmont town committee and residents concerned with a maiden attempt by the Belmont Planning Board to place limited restrictions on the installation of solar panels are seeking to stop the measure from coming before January's Special Town Meeting. In an e-mail dated Nov. 14 and presented to the board for its Tuesday, Nov. 15 meeting in Town Hall, Roger Colton, co-chairman of the town’s Energy Committee, said that the language in the Planning Board's proposed "Solar Power Generation By-law Zoning Amendment" is "unacceptable as written." Despite Colton's and others objections, the Planning Board is forging ahead with amending an existing by-law to regulate how solar energy structures can be installed on homes and businesses. But…