HANOVER — In relation to the Hanover II Solar Project being constructed by Delaware River Solar, an area variance was requested at the last Town Board meeting to better accommodate the project. Instead of approving the variance outright, Hanover Town Supervisor Todd Johnson said he thought it would be best for the board to view the site themselves before making a decision on whether or not to approve it.
“When we sit down and look at a piece of paper, it really doesn’t give us too much of a clear understanding… where it would go and where it would be,” said Johnson last month. “I think the best thing is for us to go to the site… and actually look at it and see where the boundaries are. Everything looks good on paper, we know what the regulations are and the setbacks we’d like to see are, but it’s a lot better with a visual to understand.”
Now, that site visit has been completed by the board, and despite the dreary day they went, the Hanover Town Board seemed to have a greater understanding of what was being asked.
“We walked to the site, roughly to where the solar farm was going to start in the southern part of the field,” said Dan Compitello of Delaware River Solar. “We could see the southern and east boundary of the property, the grapes to the north of us and the homes in front of the grapes, and at that point, you could see what we were talking about, moving the project to the south and into the setback on the east.”
Compitello said the point of moving the project, located on Angell Road, is to keep all the sections of grapes, instead of having to destroy them, using an entire southern field for the solar farm. Without that, four to six acres of grapes would have to be taken out. The project additionally benefitted the neighbors of the Angell Road property, owned by Lucas Bell.
“The relief we’re asking for to move the project 51 to the south and 38 feet to the east would have less impact on the neighbors to the south than it would to the neighbors on the north,” said Compitello.
Drainage for the project will also be taken care of, as the stormwater pollution prevention plan has already had its preparations begun. At the end of the day, Compitello was satisfied with the resolution, and the board, satisfied by their site visit, approved the setback, with Councilman Wayne Ashley abstaining from the vote.