Proponents and opponents of the proposed solar project on Smith Farms in Farmington are preparing for the decisive April 17 meeting when a vote is anticipated.
The Town of Farmington is tentatively scheduled to discuss Delaware River Solar’s requests for variances regarding its proposed 7-megawatt solar farm at the corner of Yellow Mills Road and Fox Road. At that meeting, a “yea or nay” vote is possible.
“We’ve been told by the town that at the April Planning Board public hearing to anticipate a vote,” said Jim Falanga, who is among the opponents of the proposed solar farm. “We’ve been told before there’s going to be a vote and then they’ve tabled it. We’ll see how it goes.”
Among the requested variances Delaware River Solar is requesting, the main one is that the internal distance between the solar arrays be permitted to be less than 180 feet from internal property lines. In essence, this would allow the project to be drawn in further from neighboring properties, including the road, because the project is spread over three parcels owned by the Smiths. Without these variances the project, proposed at this scale, would not be possible on the property.
Delaware River Solar completed a major step toward securing state funding, having finally completed its notice of intent to undertake an action within an agricultural district. The application is currently under review by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets ,and a decision is to be issued within 45 days from Feb. 27. In a letter passed along to town officials by an Ag and Markets representative, the receipt of the letter does not constitute permission for the project to start.
Town officials stated that any vote should take place only after they have the appropriate time to review all information that comes back from the state.
Dan Compitello, project manager for Delaware River Solar, did not return a request for comment when asked for a project update.