Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Site plan approved Tuesday night.
Selectmen have granted Harvey’s Farm site plan approval for a solar project, the development’s last local board review. The board’s vote Tuesday night was subject to the conditions presented by the various town departments. Selectmen closed the site plan review public hearing exactly two weeks earlier. However, a written decision wasn’t available at that time. During that meeting, Building Commissioner Tin Htway noted that some departments had outstanding issues, and “the lion’s share” were resolved that day. Also at that meeting, attorney Adam Braillard noted that the zoning board of appeals required site plan review in granting a use variance for the roughly 2.24 megawatt project on just under eight acres at 120 South St./7 Maple Ave. in…
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Selectmen close site plan review public hearing.
A new solar farm at Westborough's Harvey's Farm will be a "jewel" that will make the town proud, Project Manager Charles Jenkins told selectmen Tuesday night. Selectmen closed the public hearing on the project's site plan review application. The board will vote on a written decision on the request at its next meeting, Town Manager Jim Malloy said. Building Commissioner Tin Htway said some departments had outstanding issues, and “the lion’s share” were resolved late Tuesday. Attorney Adam Braillard noted that the zoning board of appeals required site plan review in granting a use variance for the roughly 2.24 megawatt project on just under eight acres at 120 South St./7 Maple Ave. in October. Jenkins told the board that "I think that you’ll…
Friday, January 25, 2013
Selectmen declined the town's right of first refusal.
Westborough won’t pursue buying about eight acres that Harvey’s Farm plans for a solar farm. Selectmen voted Tuesday night not to exercise Westborough’s right of first refusal under state law to buy the Maple Avenue land, which owner Jim Harvey seeks to remove from state Chapter 61A agricultural status. Harvey plans a ground mounted solar facility of about 2.4 megawatts, on about eight acres of his farm, attorney Adam Braillard noted. Selectmen recently voted to authorize Malloy to sign a 20-year contract with Sun Ray Power LLC to buy the net metering credits generated by the project at 7 Maple Ave. Tuesday night, Harvey said the Westborough Open Space Preservation Committee gave him “one day’s notice” of its scheduled meeting on the …
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Open space committee to review Harvey's Farm's plan to take the solar farm site out of Massachusetts Chapter 61A.
Should Westborough seek to buy the land planned for a solar project at Harvey’s Farm? Westborough’s Open Space Committee will discuss this issue at 7:30 tonight in Forbes Municipal Building Room 23. Town Manager Jim Malloy told selectmen Tuesday night he asked the committee to review the matter and report back in time for the Jan. 22 selectmen’s meeting. Harvey’s Farm seeks to remove from Massachusetts Chapter 61A (agricultural) status the land the solar project will occupy, Malloy said. Westborough has the right of first refusal to “acquire the property for fair market value,” he said, “even though they’re not selling it.” The process is spelled out here. However, the land is “in the middle of Harvey’s Farm, so I don’t think it’s very …
Monday, December 31, 2012
Westborough will buy net metering credits generated by the new project at Harvey's Farm.
Westborough will earn about $100,000 annually over 20 years through a new deal involving the solar project at Harvey’s Farm, Town Manager Jim Malloy says. Selectmen recently voted to authorize Malloy to sign a 20-year contract with Sun Ray Power LLC to buy the net metering credits generated by the ground-mounted photovoltaic farm at 7 Maple Ave. The project will be “generating electricity in excess of what they actually utilize on their property,” Malloy said. Attorney Adam Braillard, representing the project proponents, said Westbororough can purchase the electricity from the system. “National Grid credits the electricity produced by the system at a retail rate,” Braillard said, “and then National Grid assigns the credits to the town.” …
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The vote was Monday night.
The Westborough Zoning Board of Appeals granted Harvey's Farm LLC's variance request for a ground-mounted photovoltaic farm Monday night. And then a gentleman said, "Now the crowd goes wild." The board voted 3-0 to grant the variance, with these conditions: site plan review; at least 100-foot front, side and rear yard setbacks from abutters, including the cemetery; remove the project within 150 days of ending it; give Westborough the right of first refusal to buy electricity from the project; continue current screening abutting the cemetery; and that the variance was for 20 years, the duration of the project developers' lease on the farm site, as presented by the proponents during a Sept. 10 public hearing. Chairman Jim Johnson said a …
Monday, October 1, 2012
Looking for Westborough happenings? Consider these ideas.
Each morning, Westborough Patch presents “5 Things You Need to Know,” a collection of announcements, events, reminders and odd little ditties to help you organize your day. What will you be doing today? 1. The Westborough Zoning Board of Appeals' public hearing on Harvey's Farm's proposed solar project continues at 8 p.m. at the Forbes Municipal Building. 2. Support Westborough High School athletics: 3. A book discussion group reflects on "Caleb's Crossing," by Geraldine Brooks at 7 p.m. at the Westborough Public Library. 4. Give the gift of life today: An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Porter & Chester Institute on Route 9. 5. The Fales School Council meets at 8:30 a.m. The agenda is here.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
State officials reflect on this during a tour of Harvey's Farm.
Local agricultural regulations have fallen behind modern farming, some state officials said at Westborough's Harvey's Farm on Monday. Agricultural commissions are one possibility toward addressing this issue, state Agriculture Commissioner Gregory Watson said. "I think the ultimate goal is they would actually work a little bit like concoms (conservation commissions)," as "a vehicle for doing education," he said. "There seems to be some interest. I'll follow up on that." Watson spoke during a tour of four farms in the Eighth Middlesex District. State Rep. Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) led the tour, which also included stops in Holliston, Hopkinton and Southborough. State Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan, state …
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The board requests a lists of similar projects in other communities.
The Westborough Board of Appeals on Monday night heard Harvey's Farm's solar farm proposal, and now want a list of similar projects in other communities. Member Ken Gagnon also asked to visit Harvey's proposed site, at 7 Maple Ave. The board Monday night opened and continued to Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. its public hearing on Harvey's Farm LLC's variance request for a ground-mounted photovoltaic farm. The session was held in the Forbes Municipal Building. The photovoltaic farm's nature as it relates to farming and to Westborough's zoning was at the core of Monday night's discussion. "Somehow, I find solar panels not to be an agricultural use," which is allowed everywhere in town, Chairman Jim Johnson said. Johnson asked if Harvey had applied to …
Monday, September 10, 2012
Jim Harvey says the project would help him 'pay down my debt load' toward leaving Harvey's Farm to his children.
A $10 million ground-mounted photovoltaic farm designed to generate electricity sufficient to power a town is proposed for Westborough's Harvey's Farm. Farm owner Jim Harvey says the project is "for survival." "Probably the biggest (reason) is to pay down my debt load. My goal is to leave my children with all of the land that I have. I don't want to sell any of it. And I don't want to leave them in debt," Harvey said during a recent interview at the farm, at 120 South St. The project is proposed for 7 Maple Ave. "This is basically a 20-year plan that would take care of that." The Westborough Board of Appeals has scheduled a public hearing on Harvey's Farm LLC's variance request for 7:30 tonight at the Forbes Municipal Building. The board'…