Falmouth Town Assembly voters approve zoning articles for solar farming

Falmouth: Two zonal articles related to amp energy plans to transform Amp Energy Golf Course into a large solar farm at the Septu Special City Conference.

Article 6, approved by Article 66-43, gives renewable energy company Amp Energy, which plans to lease the property, more flexibility to install solar panels. Approved text allows for smaller projects and more trees to be cut down for solar projects next to the expected space.

Article 7, approving 146-39, changes the city’s zoning map by adding a new, larger, overlapping solar eclipse that includes most of the Cape Code Country Club.

The solar farming project sparked a debate among approximately 190 city council members at Falmouth High School’s gym. Some residents were opposed to the farm, while others were concerned about details of damage to solar panels, such as when a breakup would occur and who would be responsible.

Some members cited the problem of wind turbines in the city, but it did not stand in the way of how the city would be dismantled.

City councilors in support of the project said renewable energy is a better option than housing development.

“I think this is a project that the city is fully supporting,” said Susan Pard, a member of the City Council from the city. “I was shocked by the number of protests. The owner wants to sell the property. This is an opportunity for the city. We need more renewable energy. I can’t imagine a project that would hurt neighbors and the city less than this project.

Since early 2019, Cape Cod country club owner David Freil has been looking at alternatives to the golf course for the past 10 years.

Cities members gathered zonal articles related to the Cape Code Country Club at the Formwood High School Gymnasium on Monday night, as well as an article that turns Christopher Columbus Day into Indigenous People's Day.

Over the past ten or two years, the expansion of golf courses in Cape Town and the declining number of golfers have forced me to look at other land use options for Cape Code Country Club in terms of financial viability. He wrote a letter to the Falmouth Planning Board.

Zoning articles are only the first step in the process of allowing solar farming. Brian Jessinsky, president of the Coenetas Pond Association, who spoke at the city meeting, said the plan should be submitted to the Cape Code Commission and the Planning Board.

The Planning Board implements and decides on tree planting, and requires twice the number of trees cut for solar farming, said Andrew Chabott, general manager of AMP Energy.

Jensinsky also said that there will be a study of water quality in the Coonasese pond, which will be the largest freshwater pond study in the Cape Code.

The proposal to turn the Cape Code Country Club in Falmouth into a solar farm at a Falmouth Town meeting on Monday night.

Traditionally used hills are expected to slide on the property, Jessinsky said. And as soon as the solar panels are gone, Amp Energy promises to take care of the land for the city.

Results of other city meetings

► Voters approved to change the name of Christopher Columbus Day to Indigenous Day, with 57 votes in favor and 57 against.

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