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Letter: Bear Ridge Solar project will be bad for Cambria

Bear Ridge Solar project will be bad for Cambria

I am writing as a resident of Cambria and a member of a group in opposition to Cypress Creek’s “Bear Ridge Solar” project being proposed in Cambria and Pendleton.

Our opposition is based on Cypress Creek’s decision to construct a 900-acre industrial solar installation on land which is zoned agricultural/residential. They have been offered industrial zoned property in the area, but have shown little or no interest in leasing that land. Cypress Creek, along with other solar developers, are using Article 10, a New York State vehicle to aid in the development of large-scale wind and solar projects and fulfill Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Green New Deal” initiative mandating that 70 percent of New York’s electricity be produced from renewable energy.

A portion of Article 10 gives the state the opportunity to rezone a municipality’s agricultural land to industrial. This is done by taking home rule away from said municipality. In other words, overruling a locality’s zoning ordinances. Article 10 also calls for ad hoc members of a community, directly involved in the construction of a wind or solar project, be represented on its siting board.

We in Cambria, as of this writing, have not had our ad hoc member named.

There are other concerns such as safety, environment, aesthetic and monetary concerns. Space prohibits my going into detail but the safety concerns come from the close proximity of Starpoint Central School to this project and the evacuation required in the event of a catastrophic event occurring, such as a fire, in the project’s confine. Monetarily, home values have already seen a decrease. This, of course, will lead to increased taxes. This writing just touches on some of the concerns our town has in dealing with this proposed project.

The Cambria Town Board as well as the Niagara County Legislature, Cambria fire department and many other state and local representatives have all come out against the “Bear Ridge Solar” project. Cypress Creek representatives have assured us that, “If they (we) don’t want us there, we’ll leave.”

Roger Palmer

Cambria

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