Not such a good neighbor
First, a little background information about myself and my property. My name is Charlie Flanders, and I live at 2112 Cold River Rd. My property, which was originally the Buffum farm, was built in the early-1800s and is on the historic register with the state of Vermont. It is located directly across from the proposed groSolar site in Rutland Town. Many of my neighbors’ homes are also on the historic register. I am not anti-solar, but feel there must be some balance between our future energy needs and our historic Vermont values. To follow is a timeline of my introduction to groSolar and their employees who would like to become a neighbor also.
My first introduction to groSolar was with Steve Remen, in a neighborhood meeting in mid-August with about 10 residents present. Steve explained groSolar’s plans for the Cold River site. Many good questions were asked by all who attended. Steve stated that the panels would be kept a minimum of 100 feet from the road and explained how the panels would be screened from our properties. He said the 100 feet could be used for hiking and dog walking in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. He also said they would be using only 10 acres of the total 25-acre site.
Then there was my first encounter with Rod Vien, vice president of groSolar, at the Oct. 17 meeting with the town planning board to discuss possible setbacks for solar projects. Many technical questions were asked about solar sites in general. There were about 30 people present, and the meeting lasted about two hours. As the meeting was coming to an end and people were about to leave, one of the board members asked a gentleman whom he might be, since he didn’t recognize him.
Then, and only then, did Rod Vien get up and speak. He rose, introduced himself, stated he lived in Vermont, his office was located here in Vermont and he wanted to be a good neighbor. Well, good neighbors in Vermont introduce themselves before being called out by a board member.
Many of the questions asked at this meeting could have been answered by someone with Rod’s knowledge, but instead he chose to sit and listen to garner information about the town’s solar plans. Then, on Monday, four days after this meeting, he submits his plan to the town requesting a 60-foot setback and using 15 acres, almost half the setback Steve said they would use and 50 percent larger in size, 10 acres to 15 acres.
Well, I judge a company or a person on their words and actions, both of which groSolar has failed miserably at.
(Vermont for Responsible Solar)