Letter: Why is Tiverton Town Council trying to ram through solar ordinance?

Posted 9/21/21

 

To the editor:

What's going on with this Tiverton Town Council? Why is it trying to ram through an ill-advised solar ordinance? And, whose interest is being served by doing so? Certainly …

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Letter: Why is Tiverton Town Council trying to ram through solar ordinance?

Posted

 

To the editor:

What's going on with this Tiverton Town Council? Why is it trying to ram through an ill-advised solar ordinance? And, whose interest is being served by doing so? Certainly not the residents of Tiverton. This ill-advised ordinance should have a name. My suggestion is, "Leave No Tree Behind." Let's look at the facts:

The town council tried to bypass the planning board and schedule a hearing on the solar ordinance to enact it without the planning board's recommendation. When it was pointed out by a town resident that the town council did not have the power to enact it without the planning board's recommendation, the town council canceled the public hearing but voted to send it to the planning board with a direction that the planning board could not amend it in any way! How absurd is that for the planning board not to be able to make improvements in the ordinance.

Someone should point out to the town council that Little Compton, where our town administrator lives, has a much more balanced ordinance than the ordinance the town council is proposing.

In their petulant behavior, the town council failed to realize that the planning board cannot recommend a solar ordinance without first having the town council amend the Tiverton Comprehensive Plan (which takes at least 30 days to do). Again my question is — whose interest is the town council serving?

Louise Durfee

Tiverton

Editor's note: On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Tiverton Town Council president Denise DeMedeiros responded in a telephone call:

This process has been going on for over two years. This is not an attempt of the present council to ram through an ill-advised ordinance or serve any special interest group.

I was notified this summer by the planning board chair that the ordinance was reviewed and sent back to us during the winter of 2019-20. I was not president at the time and did not receive the correspondence. After investigating the matter I found that the planner did have the document from the planning board and wanted to review it with the solicitor, which is exactly what happened, and it was sent back to the council.

At that time we sent the ordinance to a public hearing per advice of the town solicitor. After it was brought to my attention that the planning board did not follow state law and give us findings of fact with regard to the comprehensive plan, with an abundance of caution we sent it back to the planning board for further review and to encourage more public input.

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