Despite efforts to push through proposals for a new community solar farm in Mt. Kisco, NY, hearings have recently been postponed. The new farm is planned for a 25-acre parcel of land in Mt. Kisco, which as drawn criticisms and objections. In response to public concerns, the Planning Board adjourned a hearing regarding the solar project.
The parcel is being eyed by Sunrise Community Solar, which wants to build a $2.5-million-kilowatt solar array. Sunrise Community Solar representative, Attorney William Null, wrote to the Planning Board requesting time to review issues brought up during a July 14 hearing. The Planning Board approved the request and delayed the hearing until Sept. 22.
Locals have shown concerns over the need to clear upwards of 700 trees for the solar installation. Many of these comments were made during the Aug. 3 Village Board meeting, where neighbors were vocal about being against Sunrise’s plans. Among the main issues raised was the lack of environmental review regarding Mt. Krisco’s solar laws, which were passed in 2018 to allow arrays to be built in a Conservation Development District. Some residents are requesting that a full review be completed to detail the impacts of the community solar farm, particularly regarding the wildlife and runoff.
One resident, David Schwartz, spoke out against the solar project, stating that there must be an environmental impact report to paint a clear picture of how the ecosystem could be affected. Schwartz was joined by John Stockbridge, a board member of Marsh Sanctuary, who believes a new site must be located to avoid having to remove hundreds of trees.
Also turning residents against Sunrise Community Solar’s installation is the addition of a cell tower expected to be completed alongside the installation. News of the cell tower being included in the plans reached residents only days before the July 14 hearing.
Whitney Singleton, the village’s attorney, says there will be a thorough review, but that the Comprehensive Plan for Mt. Krisco fully supports solar installations under the land’s zoning.