MASSENA — The Massena Town Council has set a public hearing for 5:30 p.m., Dec. 18 to take comments on a draft solar law that’s been in the works for several months.
“I know that this has been going on for quite some time,” Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy said during last week’s Massena Town Council meeting.
During their August meeting, council members said they were continuing to work on drafting a local law that would govern large solar farms that wanted to set up in the town. Town attorney Eric Gustafson had provided members with a draft for their review, comments, questions and concerns.
The draft was also sent to members of the planning and zoning boards, who could also submit any questions or concerns they had regarding the local law.
During last week’s meeting, a representative from the town’s Planning Board told council members that they had not had an opportunity to discuss the policy yet.
“We can’t give you a summary of what the Planning Board’s feelings are at this point,” Dave Grant said. “I have reviewed it and have just a couple of questions, but I think it’s pretty straightforward. It looks very detailed.”
He wondered if the local law had been modified from a law enacted in another municipality and, if so, where it came from.
“We did have a couple of meetings with NYSERDA (the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority),” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said.
He said Mr. Gustafson also used other templates to craft Massena’s proposed law.
“It’s more for a large-scale solar farm,” he said.
Councilman Samuel D. Carbone Jr. said the local law would also address residential solar installation.
“There’s two sections — major and minor systems. Minor systems could just be residential-type applications where people want to put some panels on their rooftops. Major could be more large-scale commercial farms,” Mr. Grant said. “I’m certainly in favor of the draft version you presented. I think it’s very detailed.”
The Planning Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday, and he said he would ensure that the item was on the agenda.
In the meantime, Mr. O’Shaughnessy said no developers had submitted paperwork to establish a solar farm in the town.