Ulster town officials ask developer to change plan for solar farm

TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. >> Developers of a proposed, 2-megawatt solar farm along the east side of state Route 32 have been asked to move the installation to the west side and use a former quarry instead of taking down trees.

The proposal was discussed following a Town Board meeting Thursday, with town Supervisor James Quigley saying Cypress Creek Renewables/Landau Solar was approached after residents in Eddyville voiced concern that a wooded area would be cleared to put solar panels on about 35.4 acres of the 190.2-acre parcel.

“I made them aware that they were going to do a full environmental impact statement if they wanted to go to the site they were picking,” he said.

The parcel is on both sides of state Route 32 and is owned by the Eddyville Corp.


“I don’t know what criteria they use to make their selections, but (the quarry) is south-facing and there’s no trees there,” Quigley said.

Eddyville Corp. applied in 2001 for a state Department of Environmental Conservation mining permit for 43.5 acres of the property, which led neighbors to protest, including the posting of numerous “Stop the Mine” lawn signs. Subsequently, the Town Board adopted zoning changes on July 30, 2004, that barred mining at the location. Court challenges to the new land-use regulations over the next eight years were unsuccessful.

Eddyville Corp. had purchased the property and several other adjacent parcels in 1986, with owners telling the court they had intended to mine limestone. However, the court decision found that the absence of mining since the 1970s had negated claims the use was grandfathered as an acceptable use despite the 2004 zoning amendment.

Town Board members last month agreed to take the lead agency role for environmental reviews of the project.

Representatives for Cypress Creek Renewables could not be reached for comment.

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5 August 2017 4:07 pm
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