The town board agreed that Councilman Reynolds should go ahead with the project and at Monday’s Zoning meeting Councilman Reynolds confirmed that he was going to follow through with the committee and make recommendations to the town board.
As luck would have it, another application for a solar energy use variance was on the agenda for the April 24, 2017 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.
This time, VP Supply, 4676 Commercial Drive, appeared before the board requesting a use variance for solar panels which were going to be at the back of two buildings for a total of 55 kw. The town's codes only allow for 10 kw.
From the application provided by VP Supply for the use variance:
“The building permit was initially approved by the town on December 19, 2014. Based on approval, VP Supply procured materials and incurred debt to complete the project with expectations of realizing return on investment via energy savings.”Further, the application states:
“The company submitted an application for a building permit and it was approved on December 19, 2014. At or around December 15, 2015 all necessary conditions for the safe installation of the solar system were in place to start and finish the project within the permitted timetable of December 19, 2015.”Financial information provided with the application shows a total cost to the applicant of $178,750 , part of which was to be paid by NYSERDA grants upon the completion of the project. The materials are now sitting in storage and the timeframe for the applicant to receive the NYSERDA grant is almost over. However, through no fault of the applicant, a mere two (2) days before the one year expiration of the building permit, the town placed a STOP WORK order on the project.
“As a precautionary measure, the company submitted a request for an extension of the building permit. This request was denied and a “Stop Work” notice was issued December 17, 2015."
“As a result of the above, the company has incurred a “unique hardship” as it had procured the necessary materials for this project and incurred debt to pay for the net remaining costs of the system.”
Why did the town withdraw their permit almost a year after it was given to VP Supply, you ask?
The explanation given at the Zoning Board meeting was that a town employee in the codes department gave the applicant a building permit in error.
Apparently, not even the town employees were given a head’s up on the changes to the town solar energy zoning laws adopted as part of the Updated Comprehensive Plan in July of 2014.
You may remember that I have already stated in my blog that Joe Booth is on videotape telling a resident that there were too many changes in the zoning to be able to state them before the vote to adopt the updated Plan and zoning laws.
It was suggested to the applicant by the town attorney that he contact his councilman, Richard Woodland, to see if he could help out. It was also suggested that the application be tabled until the town had time to review their solar zoning codes.
If you think that Tyksinski is in favor of solar energy; think again. I assure all town residents that as long as Tyksinski is town supervisor, solar energy will not be available to residents in the Town of New Hartford.
So unless you feel like making a $300 contribution to the town for a use variance only to waste your time stating your case before the Zoning Board who will automatically tell you "NO" after they intently listen to your story, you need not bother to apply.
The Zoning Board meeting video will be online this weekend. If you are curious to see what a clusterf**k looks like, be sure to tune in my YouTube channel.