I already gave a head’s up concerning the threat of solar panels being put on the historic common pasture. I want to thank everyone who came out to the public hearing in Newbury. Unfortunately, it was for naught since they were only handling Plum Island. Here is my original post.
This Wednesday, at Newbury Town Hall, the meeting at 7:30 will be specifically concerning the solar array proposed for the Common Pasture. (Come early at 6:30 and see what is the Planning Board’s attitude toward this project)
Sage Stone LLC from Milton, MA has put in the application to plant a 3MW array covering 16 acres placed on the cattle area of Pikul Farm.
One of the important elements that helps Newburyport have such a high quality of life is the beautiful common pasture that is viewed refreshingly as a commuter comes past Scotland Road exit. One of the last of the historic pasture lands, the scenes of cattle grazing and farming adds a restful respite from the endless tracts of suburban sprawl that is growing across the state. The fact our city is surrounded by such a beautiful ecological setting adds value to living here.
We’ve had threats in the past. There were plans to add housing across the Common Pasture years back and they were partially successful with the Quail Run Development. Then the threat of industrial buildings and paved streets were proposed. Later yet, it was proposed to cover the area with wind turbines! It just seems the threats to this endangered area are continual.
Fortunately, the Citizens of Newburyport rose to the occasion and one of the first acts of the Community Preservation Committee was to purchase a large tract of land now called the Cooper North Pasture. Later, the Wet Meadows area was obtained and with cooperation with Newbury, Coffin Island was acquired. Colby Farms was reinforced by obtaining more land for them. And recently, a significant area of the upper Little River was given over to Essex County Greenbelt. Thus, significant investment has been made by both communities to provide protections.
Yet, more needs to be done!
This proposal (These people don’t even have to look at it since they live in Milton!) threatens our tourism industry and it threatens our quality of life by marring our views. It also departs from the agricultural use of the land by building non-agricultural structures.
And the sad thing – this is done to line the pockets of a select few who are trying to garnish the generous tax subsidies and grants given by the government for solar arrays. In other words, this is being proposed to get money from the taxpayers of which many in this area will suffer from the loss of open space and quality of life.
Be sure if you are from Newbury to show up to speak. Since this is a direct threat to Newburyport’s quality of life, I encourage as many as possible to show up Wednesday night to throw our support behind those who would speak against this project.
PS. Of course, we have the crazy editorial today proclaiming, ‘trash our local environment to save the planet!’
PPS. Here are the excellent efforts by J.R. Colby to defeat this destructive project.