Please encourage our elected and appointed officials to stop Bullard Memorial Farm Association (BMFA) and Renewable Energy Massachusetts, LLC (REM) from harming Holliston's Scenic Road and Historical Site by installing a 2.5 Mega-Watt solar power plant for financial gain. This move will be detrimental to Holliston’s preservation and the health, safety and welfare of its’ residents.
The Bullard Memorial Farm Association in Holliston, Massachusetts, is a registered historic site on the National Register of Historic Places. It wants to use its’ historic farm property to build a 2.5 Mega-Watt power plant on Bullard Street, a registered scenic road. In addition, the proposed location is in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood.
The BMFA and REM, the developer, have applied to the town of Holliston for a permit to remove seven trees on the public way to provide better sun exposure for the solar panels. All of these trees are 100 or more years old and are a major part of the scenic beauty and character of Bullard Street. They are also important contributors to the healthy, green canopy over the street. In addition, the developer notes with his proposal that they will remove more than 35 other trees that overlap the public way and contribute significantly to the street’s scenic value. In addition, to deliver the electricity from the power plant to Nstar’s grid, additional taller utility poles, with greater capacity, will run the length of Bullard Street. Further trees and tree canopies will need to be cut to accommodate these poles.
The trees proposed for removal each absorb between 50 and 200 gallons of water per day. (www.googleans.com & www.wikianswers.com) These trees also clean the air we breathe by taking out CO2 from our car emissions and then giving us clean oxygen. These trees work 24 /7 saving energy and delivering a healthier environment.
Another area in Holliston experienced flooding problems and closed roads when a developer took trees down for a housing project that didn't get built. We don’t want this to happen to Bullard Street. We know the existing culvert under Bullard Street is inadequate to handle spring time water flow and this could worsen with additional water running into the stream.
This area also holds great historical importance for Holliston and for Massachusetts. Twenty years ago, the Bullard Memorial Farm Association opposed efforts of Algonquin Gas to run a pipeline through their farm property. The BMFA was able to defeat this project when a cultural survey revealed significant numbers of historic artifacts on the farm and advocated the farm be preserved for future archeological studies. During this cultural survey there were more than 300 historic and prehistoric artifacts found. The BMFA claimed that the planting fields were an "irreplaceable archeological resource". Now, the BMFA has forgotten about the historical importance of the property in order to increase its already substantial resources.
We strongly oppose:
1. Removal of old trees and potential harm to a watershed area and a registered scenic road.
2. Installation of 7,500 solar panels, each reaching over 10 feet high, in a residential zone. The panels will be confined by a 6 foot high chain link fence.
3. Conversion of Bullard Farm, a registered historic site, to a power plant surrounded by a 6 foot high chain link fence. I believe there are alternative locations in Holliston for solar developments that do not require permanent destruction of trees and historical sites and the possible degradation of protected wetland areas.
We are not against solar power, we are not against renewable energy! We are against small-scale utilities erected at this location, in the middle of a residential neighborhood, that will alter a registered scenic road. There are many other suitable sites in industrial areas, in a properly zoned property.
We ask Bullard Memorial Farm Association and Renewable Energy Massachusetts, LLC to withdraw their Solar Power Plant application for Bullard Street in Holliston, MA.
We call on the Holliston Inspector of Buildings and the Planning Board to decide that placing a 2.5 Mega-Watt solar power plant in a residential area violates Holliston’s zoning by-laws and risks the public health, safety, and welfare of its’ residents. In addition this project will scar the town. We are asking to protect Holliston’s environment. We enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of Holliston’s numerous acres of conservation land and scenic roads and would like to make it available to our kids and future generations of Holliston's residents. This land has been protected for over 300 years by the Bullard Memorial farm Association (BMFA).