October 23, 2018 Planning Board meeting

October 23, 2018 Planning Board meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:26 pm


A meeting of the Planning Board was held on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Mr. Marks called the meeting to order at 7:06 PM and announced that the meeting is being recorded and will be available on cable and on the website.

PRESENT: Ernest Marks (Chairman), Ken Ballou, Michael Greco, Tracy Sharkey (Vice Chairperson), Aaron Socrat, Les Stevens, Michael Zwicker
NON-VOTING: William Cundiff (Town Engineer)

Mr. Marks opened the public hearing. Evan Turner of AMP Solar Development joined the meeting to present the plan. The parcel is undeveloped forest of 28 acres at a 5% slope. It is a previously approved subdivision of 21 contiguous lots, but the subdivision never got off the ground. The original access for the subdivision, which is between two properties with existing homes, will not be used. Access is at the northeast corner. The applicant will be leasing the property on a 20-45-year basis.
The inverters and the battery energy system will be placed in the south center of the site to reduce the chance of abutters being able to hear any noise. The array will be surrounded by a 14’-wide gravel road of 2” stone. The array will be surrounded by a 6’ fence, with a 6” gap at the bottom.
At the northeast, the project will be 75’ off the property lines of the house lots. That area will remain treed. They are working with the Conservation Commission to confirm the wetland lines.
Mr. Turner described how the panels will be installed. He explained how the battery energy system works. He described the types of noises one could expect from the array.
Ms. Sharkey noticed a mistake: the owner’s address was listed as 29 Depot Street, Douglas, which is the Municipal Center. There was also no owner’s signature on the application.
No detail for the road was noticed. Mr. Turner will install plantings between the fence and the neighbors’ properties. The plan needs to show the plantings.
Jeff Brandt of TRC joined the meeting. No soil will be removed from the site because the State does not allow it. The Board reviewed the construction sequence. Mr. Socrat asked that the existing homes be added to the plans. Mr. Turner agreed.
Mr. Turner will have ongoing inspections to check how well the grass is growing.
Mr. Socrat asked if a magnetic field comes off the panels, would a magnetic field be a health risk, and will a glare be coming off the panels. Mr. Turner stated that the panels are non-glare. He also feels that the amount of trees surrounding the property will block any glare from the panels. Mr. Turner will seek the information regarding the magnetic field. Mr. Cundiff clarified that they will need a report prepared and stamped by a professional engineer registered in Massachusetts indicating what the magnetic field is, if any, and what affects it would have.
Lithium batteries can leak, what is the failsafe? Mr. Turner has two options for methods of containment should a lithium battery leak. A concrete pad with a lip can be installed or a lined trench around the outside of the electrical gear.
Mr. Turner stated that construction, start to finish, should take 12 months, with most of the work being done in the middle six months. Erosion controls will be installed all along the limit of cutting. Trees will be stockpiled on site to haul away as convenient. Equipment will start to be delivered around month 3. Installation will begin in months 3 and 4 and work top to bottom down the hill. During months 7-9 most of the heavy work will be finished. Months 9-12 will be wiring, plantings, stabilizing, etc. The Estimated cost of construction is $1.50/watt for the array.
Mr. Socrat would like to know the number of trips large trucks will be making down the road, and he would like to see a plan to maintain the road. Mr. Turner will have a construction bond for road quality. He will get an estimate on the number of trips.
The applicants will need to do a new filing because the subdivision was filed with the Registry of Deeds. Mr. Cundiff stated that in the packet is an email from Town Counsel recommending that one ANR plan be recorded that combines all the properties into one lot. There are a series of no-build covenants on the property that would need to be taken care of in the approval.
Regarding the section of the application that states “removing and stockpiling topsoil,” Mr. Turner clarified that roughly 1”-1.5” of topsoil will come off with the stumping and then a little bit will be cleared so the piles can be installed on firm soil. The depths of the pilings and types of swales are variable. The rest of the soil will be stockpiled on site and seeded as a hill before it is redistributed on site before the tops of the racks are installed. The goal is not to remove the topsoil, but some removal is inevitable. Ms. Sharkey asked to know where the soil is going to go. She asked for an actual construction sequence, not a boilerplate.
Mr. Cundiff objects to the phrase “permit set only” which is littered throughout the plans and asked that that phrase be taken off the drawings. He stated that what needs to be seen, is the entire project with the technical details.
Mr. Cundiff asked if Mr. Turner recommends any specific training for the Fire Dept. Mr. Turner does not, however he did offer to speak to the Department to see if they have all the equipment they need to fight an electrical fire. Mr. Turner would provide foam if it is needed.
Mr. Cundiff stated that the plan should show the bordering property boundaries, houses, property owners’ names and the distance from the houses to the nearest module.
In the event of a fire, Mr. Turner is not aware of any hazardous fumes that would be emitted. Mr. Cundiff asked Mr. Turner to submit a sample emergency response plan for the Fire Chief to review.
Mr. Cundiff feels the project will need intermediate check dams along the slope to dissipate the energy of stormwater runoff, particularly during construction. Mr. Cundiff would suggest building stormwater basins first and then begin the module installation from the bottom of the slope, upwards.
Mr. Cundiff suggested that the old subdivision road be developed, at least partially, to allow for emergency access. Mr. Kotamp suggested coordinating with the Fire Chief.
Mr. Turner stated that all construction workers would park on site. Mr. Cundiff asked that details for construction traffic and parking be defined on the plan. Mr. Cundiff agreed that there should be surety for the road and for decommissioning. Mr. Cundiff asked for current and projected values for decommissioning.
Walter Cavanagh of 271 Wallum Lake Road lives next to the entrance. He feels that he and the first house on Birch Hill will be impacted the most. Mr. Turner said that he would plant whatever Mr. Cavanagh would like in order to provide screening. Mr. Cundiff suggested submittals for landscaping along the edge where there are houses. Mr. Turner will engage a landscape architect. Ms. Sharkey asked Mr. Turner to note the undisturbed buffer on the plan.
Mr. Cavanagh asked for the hours of operation. They are 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Saturday. Mr. Cavanagh asked if maintenance will be done overnight. Mr. Kotamp said that it is possible, but typically maintenance is done during daylight hours. Mr. Cundiff asked Mr. Turner to suggest some language.
Jennifer Dautrich of 3 Angel Road asked if anyone has looked into the impacts on Wallum Lake. She feels that this project will have a real impact on everyone’s daily lives.
Jeanne Lawrence of 9 Shore Road agreed with Ms. Dautrich. Mr. Turner suggested a landscape bond for at least three years to be sure the slope is stabilized. They are not allowed to increase or decrease the discharge rate.
Paul Brule of 4 Kerney Road asked if the zoning in the area allowed for this use. Mr. Marks stated that it is zoned Rural Agricultural and the use is allowed under State law under the Dover Amendment. Ms. Sharkey stated that Douglas does not have a solar bylaw and solar panels are allowed in all zones.
Dennis Michalik of 415 Northeast Main Street asked if there are stone walls on the property and what will happen to them. There are stone walls and details will be needed on how they will be preserved. Mr. Michalik asked how vegetation on the site will be controlled. Mr. Turner replied that it will be mowed inside the fence. He does not foresee any chemical applications.
Mr. Michalik asked if anyone has visited the site looking for artifacts. Mr. Kotamp stated that they will be doing that as part of the permit review. Mr. Michalik feels that many projects the Planning Board approves have had washouts in the first phase of the project.
Bryan Levesque of 41 Kerney Road would like the 50’ vegetative buffer to be 100’ or more.
Kevin Trottier of 291 Wallum Lake Road asked if the fans used to dissipate heat from the lithium batteries make a lot of noise. Mr. Turner answered that the noise is why they have been placed in the center of the site. At the closest point, the equipment is 1000’ feet from the nearest house. Mr. Cundiff stated that the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has specific regulations for noise. He suggested Mr. Turner project the decibel level increase and indicate whether that is above or below the DEP level.
Mr. Michalik (unidentified speaker) has heard that there is a dehydrating factor created by the heat generated by the panels. Mr. Turner has never heard of that affect.
Ms. Sharkey made a motion to continue the public hearing for ASD Wallum MA Solar, LLC (SPR-181002), Application for Site Plan Review, 0 Wallum Lake Road to December 11, 2018 at 7:00 PM. Mr. Greco seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-7.

1. Request for Release of Earth Removal Bond: Pyne/Bedoian, One Lackey Dam Road (ER-180619). Mr. Cundiff needs to confirm the value. Mr. Zwicker made a motion to release the earth removal bond for Pyne/Bedoian, 1 Lackey Dam Road (ER-180619) pending Mr. Cundiff’s confirmation of the value. Ms. Sharkey seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-7.
2. Request to Sign Covenant: Bella Woods Subdivision (3 Lots). Mr. Cundiff said that a covenant was not submitted. They have asked to be placed on the next agenda.
3. Minutes: September 25 & October 9, 2018
Mr. Greco made a motion to approve the minutes for the September 25, 2018 Planning Board meeting as amended. Ms. Sharkey seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-7.
Mr. Greco made a motion to approve the minutes for the October 9, 2018 Planning Board meeting as presented. Mr. Socrat seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6, Ms. Sharkey abstained.

Ms. Sharkey made a motion to adjourn the Planning Board meeting at 8:38 PM. Mr. Socrat seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-7.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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