Town Manager Paul Bockelman seeks two volunteers to serve on a new Solar Bylaw Working Group.
The Working Group will draft a solar zoning bylaw including standards and guidelines that will guide and encourage responsible development of solar installations, including battery storage.
The Working Group will include representatives from the Planning Board; Energy and Climate Action Committee; Conservation Commission; Board of Health; and the Water Supply Protection Committee plus two residents from the Town.
The work will include research, study, and frequent (perhaps twice a month) meetings in order to provide a DRAFT solar bylaw to the Town Council by May 31, 2023.
The charge of the Solar Bylaw Working Group is to develop a solar zoning bylaw and establish a clear process and guidelines to support the permitting, siting, and construction of solar projects, including battery storage, in a way that protects the health, safety and welfare of community members, the environment, and natural resources. To develop the solar zoning bylaw, the SBWG will engage the community to ascertain community values, identify criteria and standards to be used in reviewing and permitting proposed solar installations including battery storage, and identify and prioritize locations for possible solar development, including large scale ground-mount, roof-top, and parking lot canopies.
More specifically, the Solar Bylaw Working Group will:
- Review the Town-funded solar resource assessment that will identify and prioritize locations for solar installations including battery storage for possible solar development to guide and encourage responsible development of solar installations. The SBWG will help engage the community to ascertain community values, identify criteria and standards to be used in reviewing the bylaw, process, and guidelines.
- Establish a clear process and guidelines to support the siting, review, permitting, and construction of solar projects including battery storage in a way that protects the health, safety and welfare of community members, the environment and natural resources, and
- Develop a solar bylaw that will be transmitted to the Town Council and Planning Board for review.
The Town Manager seeks residents who have relevant expertise or experience. We are especially seeking individuals of diverse backgrounds to serve on all boards, committees, and commissions.
If you are interested in volunteering to serve, please fill out a Community Activity Form at: www.amherstma.gov/caf
If you have questions, reach out to our Community Participation Officers at GetInvolved@AmherstMA.gov or by phone at (413) 259-3002