We are writing to support the solar bylaw warrant article for Andover's annual Town Meeting coming this spring (hopefully).
We are strong proponents of solar. We have had roof-mounted panels since 2014 and produce 85% of our electrical energy needs with these panels. We recognize that not every homeowner has the ideal exposure to have roof-mounted panels. Thus, a ground-mounted system may be appropriate for them. This article provides reasonable guidelines for these ground-mounted projects and also for any larger projects in town that might be proposed.
We have heard arguments that such regulations might discourage solar projects, but we don't believe that is the case. Think of all the building permits issued in town. Building codes don't seem to deter building. They are regulations to assure good construction practices. The proposed solar bylaws create a pathway for safe and appropriate use of our land, and preserve the character of neighborhoods. Also, a written bylaw can help prevent egregious projects that could pit neighbor against neighbor, a situation that could reduce or eliminate support for solar projects in our community.
Much of the hard work is done in the town of Andover by our volunteer boards. This well-thought-out bylaw can streamline Planning Board decision-making and help prevent controversy and wasted time in their meetings.
ROSEMARY HALLORAN and ALAN HARRIS