Many towns may require a developer to host a community open house to inform neighbors of their energy project. The meeting will not be held at town hall. The town, planning and zoning board are not required to attend. The town does not mail the taxpayers notifications.
This community meeting is not part of the official record as reviewed by the town. It is a marketing opportunity for the developer and it may fulfill a legal requirement found in the local law.
If you receive a mailer for the meeting, then review it with a keen eye for detail:
Where is the project located?
How many acres are involved?
How many solar panels may be installed?
Is it a fixed rack system or a tracking system?
How many battery energy storage containers are used?
What is the maintenance plan for vegetation?
What is the construction traffic plan?
Do you find the mailer to be misleading?
Attend the community meeting, gather information, photograph the display boards, and create video/audio recording of the presentation. Submit your documentation, your questions to the developer and their answers during privilege of the floor at the next town board meeting. Request that your submission be included in its entirety in the meeting minutes.
Prior to the next town meeting, review the draft meeting minutes to confirm your submission is accurate. If you submitted documents in color then the minutes should have the documents in color. If the draft minutes are inaccurate immediately submit a letter to the town and request correction. Attend the meeting to confirm that the corrections are made prior to the board approval of the minutes.
If you find that the developer’s mailer and community meeting may be misleading and may misrepresent the project then:
Do not rely on your town or the developer to be honest.
Do your own homework.
Submit your documents to the town, county and state.
Keep a record of your submission.
Hold the appropriate agency accountable and require that they follow the law.
Please send me photos of energy developers community meeting mailers! I’ll redline them and add it to the growing library of developers application documents.
Image as a PDF.