Warwick residents concerned over potential solar ordinance

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A group of Warwick residents are worried about the potential for a commercial solar development project to be built near their otherwise quiet neighborhood.

Ajay Pande said he’s concerned about an upcoming vote on an ordinance that would allow the solar development to be built.

“There’s a footnote in this ordnance which could change the landscape of Warwick and it’s residential neighborhoods,” Pande said.

Pande claims the ordinance would open up all Warwick residential areas and spaces to commercial solar development.

“I live not too far from here and there’s a golf course behind us, and there’s rumors that that could be up for grabs by a solar developer,” Pande said. “The thing is, these things abut residential properties.”

12 News reached out to Warwick City Planning Director Tom Kravitz, who said at this time, no formal application has been submitted for that property.

When asked about the ordinance vote, Kravitz said “There’s an existing ordinance in draft form which aims to direct the location of solar locations. It tries to get a handle on where they are allowed and how they are properly screened.”

Pande said while he is for solar energy, he does not want to see Warwick’s forested areas ripped apart.

“Clear cutting trees makes no sense, we should be looking at commercial and industrial zones,” he said. “If you look on Route 2 there’s acres of parking lots and buildings with flat roofs.”

A public hearing before the Warwick City Council over the solar ordinance had been set for Aug. 16 but was tabled until Sept. 20.

But Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi said the solar ordinance will likely not be discussed on Sept. 20 either because “it’s not ready to go to council.”

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