Solar battle: Selectmen are waiting

The selectmen hope to stay out of the neighborhood battle over solar arrays — for now, at least.

After hearing from both sides in the Canterbury Lane dispute, they decided to hold off until the Zoning Board of Appeals — which had heard the battling neighbors two days before — makes its decision.

The ZBA extended its public hearing until Jan. 28. Whether the appeals board makes a decision then or — more likely — puts it off to a future meeting after that, the selectmen felt it best to wait and see if the issue is resolved.

“I’d like to let them do their deliberations,” said Selectman Steve Zemo.

While the zoning board is hearing an appeal from one neighbor seeking reversal of the zoning department’s issuance of a permit to allow a solar array on property where people are building a home next door, the selectmen had been asked to look into passing a town ordinance that might address the question of alternative energy installations. They’d begun researching regulations, and had a tentative draft to review that set standards for solar units, and banned windmills.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi didn’t like the level of acrimony accompanying the disagreement.

“It’s sad to see,” he said at the selectmen’s Jan. 9 meeting.

Marconi urged the Canterbury Lane neighbors to try to find a way past their differences “and be able to live together.”

He was asked Monday, Jan. 14, if he knew of any progress toward a resolution.

“I’ve heard nothing,” he said. “...Not from either of the neighbors.”