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Posted on: May 28, 2019

Public Hearing - Proposed Amendments to Zoning Ordinance - 6/18/19

TOWN OF RICHMOND, R.I.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE ZONING ORDINANCE


The Richmond Town Council will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 6:00 P.M. at the Richmond Town Hall, 5 Richmond Townhouse Road, on proposed amendments to Title 18, Chapter 18.16 of the Code of Ordinances, also known as the Richmond Zoning Ordinance, submitted by Northeast Solar and Wind Power LLC.


The amendments read as follows:


18.16.030 Accessory uses – N. Solar energy system on a commercial farm.  A system of solar panels or other solar energy conversion hardware used to convert sunlight into thermal or electric energy that sells all of the energy it produces to a public utility is permitted as an accessory to an agricultural operation that occupies ten (10) or more contiguous acres, is owned or operated by an individual or business entity with a state farm tax number, and has earned $2,500 in gross income on agricultural products in each of the preceding two years, provided that the system occupies no more than 50,000 square feet, including fencing or vegetative screening, that no prime agricultural soil or topsoil is removed for construction of the system, and that the system receives development plan approval.  A larger solar energy system, or second system to one previously approved and occupying no more than 50,000 square feet, is allowed as accessory to a commercial farm on the same lot if the subject lot’s agricultural operation is owned or operated by an individual or business entity with a state farm tax number and has earned $10,000 in gross income on agricultural products in each of the preceding two years, provided that no prime agricultural soil or topsoil is removed for construction of the system or systems, that the system or systems occupy no more than 20% lot coverage, including fencing or vegetative screening, and that the system or systems receives development plan approval.

A single solar canopy is permitted as accessory to an agricultural operation that is owned or operated by an individual or business entity with a state farm tax number and that has earned $10,000 in gross income on agricultural products in each of the preceding two years, provided that the solar canopy is constructed only to cover farm equipment or machinery and is located in the rear or side yard.  A solar canopy that meets this criteria must obtain all relevant building permits, and must meet side and rear yard setbacks and maximum building coverage, but does not count towards the lot’s maximum height of an accessory structure as required in Ch. 18.20.010 Table of Dimensional Regulations Part 2.

Accessory solar energy systems or solar canopies on commercial farms must be located on land already cleared for the existing agricultural operation.


All interested persons will be given an opportunity to be heard on the proposed amendments at the public hearing. The proposed amendments may be altered or amended during the public hearing, without further advertising, as a result of further study or because of the views expressed at the public hearing. Any such alteration or amendment will be presented for comment during the public hearing.


Interested parties may obtain a copy of the proposed amendments at the Town Clerk's Office, Richmond Town Hall, 5 Richmond Townhouse Road, Richmond, R.I., between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.


Any person with sensory impairments who will require auxiliary aid during the public hearing must notify the Town Clerk at least 48 hours before the hearing by calling (401) 539-9000, ext. 9 (voice) or (401) 539-8487 (TPP).

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