In light of the impact this ordinance has across all sections of Portsmouth, PRRS implores the Town Council to establish a Solar Ordinance Sub-Committee.
Charter this Committee with a set schedule to explore the best possible options weighing our desire to maintain a rural character with property rights.
We believe we can marry the interests of residents with landowners.
In short, we can do better than the ordinance presented.
Due Process – Transparency
Portsmouth has been a small epicenter of solar development opposition.
Fontaine v. Town of Portsmouth stopped a solar development proposed to be constructed off Jepson Lane in 2017; and a proposed development off West Main Road was rejected by the Portsmouth Zoning Board 18 months ago.
Over the intervening 18 months, a “developers” attorney, developer, and members of the Zoning Board have been meeting to discuss a Solar Ordinance.
At no time did these parties outreach to the known opposition.
We would ask the Town Council to seek a higher bar, to represent all residents, and to encourage healthy compromise.
Portsmouth Can Do Better
The ordinance that was presented to the Town Council, represents the absolute minimum protections to residents in Portsmouth.
The ordinance as presented mirrors the State’s template with no density calculation and a minimum of 50’ buffer set-back.
We would ask the Town Council to balance the rural character of our community against the State’s base recommendation; and, not embrace minimum requirements that may be appropriate in the more urban centers of Cranston, Pawtucket, and Warwick.
Does this ordinance embrace the ideals of our community?