County planners back extending solar moratorium in Barre

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2020 at 7:34 pm

BARRE – The Orleans County Planning Board met this evening and recommended the Town of Barre extend a moratorium on applications for solar energy installation systems by another six months.

The town’s moratorium is to expire this month, said Tom Keeler, a member of both the county and Barre planning boards.

Barre wants more time to put a policy in place for battery storage systems for larger-scale solar projects.

Barre is looking at what other towns have done for regulated the battery storage systems for the projects, Keeler said.

The County Planning Board also voted on two other referrals from Barre:

• Barre Zoning Change – Expanding General Business District: The County Planning Board recommended the Town of Barre amend its zoning map to expand the B-General Business District along Route 98, within and south of Barre Center, Maple Street in Barre Center and West Lee Road to the west of Route 98.

The changes make the town’s zoning in line with the town’s comprehensive plan and will guide future development in the town, county planner said.

• Barre Zoning Change – Residential-1 to Agricultural Residential District: The County Planning Board supported Barre’s proposal to amend the zoning map to rezone the R-1 District to the AR District. This will be allow the town’s zoning map to be in line with the town’s comprehensive plan.

The majority of the R-1 District will change to Agricultural-Residential except for those along Route 98 from Route 31A south to West Barre Road, except for the existing Business District; and a small portion of Route 31A west, starting at the Light Industrial District.

The intention of the change is to “retain the small town atmosphere and rural character of Barre,” town officials said in the referral to the county.