Re-write Portsmouth Solar Ordinance

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On November 23, 2020 the Portsmouth RI Town Council will hold a Public Hearing of a new Solar Ordinance, our first in Town.  Written by a local developer's attorney, the ordinance represents the absolute minimum protections for residents.  We can do better in Portsmouth, we can have a leading ordinance, and we can encourage citizen input.  

Maintaining the rural character of Portsmouth, our scenic viewscapes, and protecting abutters from financial impact has to be this Council's priority.  Two previous farms received significant opposition, but neither the Zoning Board nor the Town Council outreached to these opposing voices.  This ordinance impacts our entire community and deserves everyone's voice.

Comparing Ordinances:
Portsmouth, RI  50' Buffer (30' Vegetative) | No Density Restriction
Exeter, RI         200' Buffer | 25% Density | Incentives for Developers 
Westport, MA   100' Buffer, 250' from Street | No Density Restriction
Dartmouth, MA   75' Buffer | Density follows Zoning District 

A recent URI study (September 2020) found a significant financial impact to resident home value with 1 mile of solar farms; depreciation up to 7%.  As our deliberative body, the Town Council must fully understand the impact of this ordinance to residents and the Town before approving.

I sign this petition imploring the Town Council to reject the proposed solar ordinance as presented.  And, recommend the Town Council form a time-limited resident-led sub-committee to make further recommendations to the Zoning Board.