Rep. Stanley Voices Concerns about Proposed Solar Project
**Since Rep. Stanley submitted the letter below to the Lexington Planning Board, he learned that Waltham abutters want a minimum setback of 200 ft from any residential property. He will update his advocacy with this request**
December 12, 2022
Town of Lexington
1625 Massachusetts Ave
Lexington, MA 02420
RE: 0 Cambridge Street/Concord Turnpike Tracer Lane Solar Project
Dear Board Members:
I write to express my concerns – and those of my constituents – regarding Tracer Lane II Realty, LLC’s proposed 1.0 MW ground-mounted large-scale solar energy system located at 0 Cambridge Street/Concord Turnpike, Map 19, Lots 1A in the CM Zoning District, with emergency and maintenance access from Sherbourne Place in Waltham.
I represent the 9th Middlesex district in the Massachusetts House of Representatives which includes the following neighborhoods that abut the proposed 9.5-acre solar field:
§ Wimbledon Circle
§ Shelbourne Place
§ Candlewood Drive
§ Crestview Road
§ Midland Drive
§ Goldencrest Ave
§ Priscilla Lane
My constituents in these neighborhoods are understandably distraught with the project as currently planned, and many only just found out about it after receiving an abutter’s notice from the Board. These folks invested significantly to purchase and maintain these properties due to their quiet neighborhoods and proximity to nearby natural and recreational resources. Children of all ages can be found riding bikes, playing in the streets and cul-de-sacs, and exploring the woods throughout the day. Now they feel that their homes, health, and safety will suffer greatly should the project move forward.
Please note that I do not oppose solar energy solutions of this nature. Every constituent I’ve heard from about this project echoed this sentiment as well. However, the proximity of Tracer Lane II Realty, LLC’s proposal to these neighborhoods seems unreasonable, especially considering the 1.3 million square feet of space available to site the project. For example, a portion of the project would have only a 7-ft setback to some of the abutters on Wimbledon Circle. It is my understanding that many zoning requirements across the country require at-minimum setbacks of 150 ft – and sometimes 500 ft – from residential property lines. My neighbors have created an online petition to raise awareness and are requesting that the proposal be amended to include a modest 60-yard setback.
Abutters’ concerns range from long-term exposure to EMF radiation to potential damage to home foundations from the blast site, as well as basement leaking due to soil erosion. Moreover, my constituents worry about the disruptions that will come with Sherbourne Place serving as the access road for the entire project. Construction vehicles going up and down the neighborhood would drastically impact everyone’s quality of life.
While I could not attend the Planning Board Meeting on December 7th, I appreciate the Board for giving my constituents an opportunity to bring forth these concerns and look forward to the discussion continuing with the hearing scheduled for February 13, 2023. I respectfully request for the Board and Tracer Lane II Realty, LLC to give these concerns their utmost consideration and work to address them in an amended proposal. My constituents should not have to bear all the impacts of this project.
As always, thank you for your time and consideration. If you would like to set up a time to discuss Waltham abutters’ concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.
Thomas M. Stanley