Solar Panels in Bedford
My opponent wants people to believe that I will not protect our zoning and open space, but this is not true. I believe that parking lots and rooftops should be priority locations for solar panels in our town, and I support the town's increased acquisition of open space and enhanced protection of land.
As for ground mounted solar, I recently voted in a town board meeting not to adopt a broad ordinance that would open the door to clear cut land for large scale solar developments in residential zones.
At this meeting, I did, however, ask a lot of questions because it is my understanding that in other places there have been narrow criteria established to protect land and allow solar farms when the ecological value of a piece of land is low - few trees, degraded soil, difficult location for other development - and when solar panels can be entirely hidden from view from neighbors and roads. I imagine that if we worked with experts and community members and came up with such criteria, there would not be many pieces of land that would qualify, but perhaps a few.
As someone who cares deeply about land, environmental justice, and our resilience going forward, I suggested we revisit this possibility at a future date, not to threaten the integrity of our zoning, but to think outside the box about how we might welcome more renewable energy technology in more ways that fit within our town.
I will continue to push for solar over parking lots and on rooftops on municipal properties and promote this kind of energy infrastructure throughout our town.