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Lockport OKs solar moratorium; no action yet on controversial project

Lockport OKs solar moratorium; no action yet on controversial project

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A farmer's plan to lease his land to a solar energy company is arousing opposition in the Town of Lockport. 

The Lockport Town Board on Wednesday unanimously approved a six-month moratorium on utility-scale solar power projects in the town – with the exception of the proposed 46-acre project on the Karl Kowalski dairy farm on Slayton Settlement Road.

The Planning Board did not act on that project at its meeting Tuesday night, and Chairman Thomas F. Grzebinski II said the soonest a vote could occur is Aug. 17.

A review of environmental impact forms is not yet complete, Grzebinski said.

The moratorium gives the town time to revise its solar regulations.

Renewable Properties of San Francisco plans the 7-megawatt project on Kowalski's land. It is opposed by neighbors and others who object to the loss of farmland and what they consider the ugliness of a large field of solar panels.

An earlier version of the moratorium would have stalled the Kowalski project, but after the developer objected, the board defeated that version and introduced a new one with an exception for projects whose approval process already was underway.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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