Hopkinton approves request from Atlantic Solar LLC, Atlantic Control Systems to rescind application

HOPKINTON—Members of the Town Council approved a request from Atlantic Solar LLC and Atlantic Control Systems to rescind an application for comprehensive plan and zoning changes to permit the construction of a 5-megawatt solar array on 29 acres in a residential zone at 0 Main Street.

The application was first heard in Nov. 2018, and following numerous continuances, the developer proposed at an Oct. 2019 hearing to add a fourth lot to the proposed site to increase the buffer between the project and abutters.

Attorney James Donnelly, representing the abutters, argued that the addition of a fourth lot meant that the plan was therefore new and should be heard as such.

At Monday’s council meeting, the council agreed to schedule a new hearing for a proposal involving the three original lots, for Jan. 27.

At the request of council member Sharon Davis, council members also discussed the status of four additional solar project proposals on properties owned by Michael and Donna Church, Ronnie and Kay Bonnie Sposato, Maitland Fothergill and a business entity, Fated Farmer.

Davis said she had drafted a letter which will be sent to the developer of the four projects, Centrica Business Systems,as well as the property owners and their attorney, George Comolli.

“The Town Council has asked me to request that you send written updates  on the status of the zoning amendment  and comprehensive plan future land use amendment and petitions for the four properties listed below to the  Hopkinton Town Clerk and Town Council members by January 21, 2020” Davis said, reading from her letter. “It has been a year since the original filings and we need to know if you are moving forward or withdrawing these petitions.”

In other business, the council approved a resolution, originally proposed by Charlestown, supporting fully funded statewide enhanced 911 municipal emergency services. The resolution also calls on Gov. Gina Raimondo to convene the E-911 Commission to “oversee the resolution of any inadequacies in the E-911 system.”

Councilor Barbara Capalbo said she supported enhanced 911 services which would be of particular benefit to rural towns such as Hopkinton.

“The fire, rescue and ambulance corps response times in rural areas are up to 10 to 15 minutes, which is a product of distance and antiquated equipment,” she said.

The council also accepted the resignation of Hopkinton School Committee member Sylvia Stanley. Stanley, whose husband, Hope Valley - Wyoming Fire Chief Fred Stanley passed away in March 2019, said in a separate interview Monday that she was still coping with her husband’s death as well as her own health issues.

“While I was taking care of Fred, I could not make the budget meetings last year, so I just decided it would be better if I dropped out,” she said.

Stanley added that Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci had asked her to remain on the committee through the current budget process, but that after learning that Ricci had passed away, she did not feel that she could continue in her committee position.

“I was only going to stay for him, because he requested it,” she said. “I don’t feel at this time that I am mentally settled enough to make good decisions for other people.”

The council agreed to authorize the Town Clerk to advertise the School Committee vacancy. The new member will serve a three-year term, ending in Nov. 2022.



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