Residents United to Save our Hometown encourages you to submit public comments in the New York State Department of Public Services (NYSDPS)
Matter Master: 18-02413/18-F-0633
Formally submitting your individual comments has two advantages:
Formally submitting a comment is easy to do:
Once you post your comment, it will appear on the “Public Comments” page in the proceeding.
The R.U.S.H. Solar Law Subcommittee was created to review and evaluate §120-74 of the Town of Rush Zoning Law entitled, Solar Energy Systems (the “Solar Law”), for three critical purposes:
A. To identify portions of the Solar Law inconsistent with the vision, purpose and intent of the citizens of the Town of Rush:
B. To evaluate the defensibility of the Solar Law for potential New York State Article 10 challenges.
C. To work with the R.U.S.H. Steering Committee, R.U.S.H. Members, the Rush Town Board, and others to identify and communicate potential inconsistencies in the Solar Law, develop, recommend and work toward improvements to our Solar Law and in so doing, enhance its defensibility against challenges and better align it with the will of the people of Rush.
The R.U.S.H. Solar Law Subcommittee has been working around the clock to develop and propose an alternative solar law for the Town that will protect us against intrusions by large commercial solar ventures like Invenergy.
Our Solar Law Subcommittee has identified three main problems that we are facing:
A. Rush citizens in and around the Horseshoe Solar are literally under attack by the enormous industrial solar energy project planned by Invenergy.
B. Rush citizens almost everywhere in Town are literally threatened by the possibility that their neighboring residential properties may become industrial-scale commercial solar energy facilities
C. Our local solar energy law may be doing more to encourage than discourage the problems.
Proposed Amendment of Law No. 1 of 2019- §120-74 of the Zoning Law of the Town of Rush regarding Solar Energy Systems:
A. The Law regarding Tier 1 Solar Energy Systems which include Roof-Mounted and Building-Integrated systems shall remain unchanged.
B. The Law regarding Tier 2 Solar Energy Systems which include Ground-Mounted Solar Energy Systems with system capacity up to 25kW AC shall remain unchanged except §120-74 G 1 b shall be amended to allow for a maximum height of Tier 2 Energy Systems of 8 feet. §12074-G 1 c shall be amended to provide that all Tier 2 Solar Energy Systems shall be installed in rear yards. §120-74 G1f shall be amended to provide for a landscape buffer. §120-74-G1g discusses decommissioning requirements.
C. Tier 3 Solar Energy Systems shall be amended to be divided into two types:
If this prohibition is found by a court to be unconstitutional or void then Large Scale Tier 3 Solar Energy Systems shall only be permitted in Limited Industrial Districts and prohibited in all other Districts.
Decisions under Article 10, made by the NYS Board on Electric Generation Siting and Environment regarding siting of the HSS facility is governed by §168.3(e), which states that approval for a major electric generating facility may not be granted if the facility is not designed to operate in compliance with applicable local laws. Yet, the Town’s new solar law, as currently written, permits up to 50 acres of residential/farmland per parcel to be transformed for this industrial use. This provision will be seen as supporting the intentions of the HSS project.
Additionally, the Town’s new solar law permits construction of industrial solar energy facilities on residential parcels without a primary residence. This is a departure from the current practice of the Town. This provision will also be seen as supporting the intentions of the HSS project.
Adding to this, any approved application under this new law will weaken the argument that it is the Town’s goal and the will of its citizens to “to protect the Town’s existing rural and open character . . . [including] conserving agricultural resources and viable farmland.”
Also, Section § 120-69 D (4) of the Town Code states that a decision whether to grant or deny approval for a special permit shall be based upon the proposed use being in harmony with the probable future development of the neighborhood, not discouraging the appropriate development and use, nor impairing the value thereof. The Tier 3 provisions of Town’s new solar law potentially undermines this provision, further weakening our position.
This is the 3,857 acres proposed by Invenergy for its Horseshoe Solar Project. About 3,000 acres (79%) are located in Caledonia and 838 acres (21%) proposed to be located in the Town of Rush.
The Rush Town Board did the best job possible given what was known at the time, and it was successful in getting a complete Town solar law on the books. Now, it is time to take a second look at our law with the objectives of strengthening its defensibility with respect to the HSS proposal and Article 10 and to also better align it with the character of the community and the will of its citizens.
In recognition of this fact, the Rush Town Board has unanimously declared its opposition to the Horseshoe Solar Project. At the Town Board meeting on June 26, the Town Attorney briefly presented a concept for an alternative approach to regulating Tier 3 solar in Rush. The R.U.S.H. Solar Law Subcommittee has also been developing enhancements to the existing law.
Invenergy has been moving right along and has a reputation for moving quickly and scheduling its progress to coincide with spring breaks, summer vacations and other activities when residents are occupied with friends and family.
So, time and paying attention are of the essence!
Article 10, administered by New York State Department of Public Service (NYSDPS), provides for the siting review of major electric generating facilities in New York State through the Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. According to Article 10 and New York Home Rule Policy, Town law is binding, and the applicant needs to abide by it. Ultimately it will be the NYSDPS that decides whether Invenergy is appropriately accommodating our Town law.
Invenergy has prepared approximately 30 exhibits as required parts of its NYSDPS application. Article 10 specifies what needs to be addressed in these exhibits.
Rush's Contribution to NYS Solar Energy Goals (pdf)Download
New Letter for Our Website NYS (pdf)Download
EMAIL ADDRESSES for members of our legislative committees (pdf)Download
Firefighters 8.16.2019 (pdf)Download
The PILOT Law and should solar developers be given property tax exemptions (pdf)Download
Town vs RUSH overview 8.4.2019 v5.6 (pdf)Download
RUSH Solar Law Further Revisions Date 8-8-2019 (pdf)Download
Why_150 acres of solar energy generation facilities in Rush (pdf)Download
Why 20 to 30 acre size limitations solar energy generation facilities in Rush (pdf)Download
HSS RUSH FLYER 7-10-19 (pdf)Download
Just imagine Pennysaver flier 7.2019 (pdf)Download
What is Article 10 (pdf)Download
RUSH Sept 1 Letter to Town Board final (pdf)Download
RUSH Sept 1 2019 - Review of TB solar law revision posted 8-28 final (pdf)Download
Town of Stafford Solar Law-May 13, 2019 Board Meeting with Planning Board (pdf)Download
Draft Local Law no 2 of 2019 amending solar energy systems (pdf)Download
Legislation - SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS - LOCAL LAW 1 OF 2019 - 2019 - Local Law 1 of 2019 ADDING ZONING LAW RE SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS (pdf)Download
UPDATE RUSH 6.21.2019 (pdf)Download
Horseshoe Solar Map (jpg)Download