By Cory Willey
NEW MARLBOROUGH — A special permit application for the construction of a five-megawatt solar array on 16.4 acres of land in the area of Knight Road has been continued until June 6. Town officials have requested more information from the applicant ahead of that date.
Representatives for the project from CVE North America Inc.—a subsidiary of a French renewable energy company—came before the Select Board for a special permit hearing on May 21 to present plans for the project and request approval for the project. As stipulated in the town’s newly accepted solar bylaws, the select board is the special permit granting authority on such applications.
The proposed solar array is slated for construction on a parcel of land owned by John C. Palfini, with his permission. The site has three abutters, including Louise Yohalem and her husband—and select board member—Nat Yohalem. This was disclosed to the board and the applicant through an email, Select Board Chair Michele Shalaby stated prior to the beginning of Monday’s hearing, which was then read at the start of the proceedings.
Shalaby stated that Yohalem cannot recuse himself from the matter by rule of necessity however, as—in accordance with the opinion of Town Counsel Jeremia Pollard—special permits must be decided by the full special permit granting authority.
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