To the Editor: The proposed Natick Avenue solar project requires a reconstruction of the power lines along Natick, Wilbur, Conley, Hope, Pippin Orchard and Laten Knight roads. The project requires the Public Works Committee to approve the placement of
To the Editor:
The proposed Natick Avenue solar project requires a reconstruction of the power lines along Natick, Wilbur, Conley, Hope, Pippin Orchard and Laten Knight roads. The project requires the Public Works Committee to approve the placement of new poles along Natick Ave requested by National Grid. Thankfully the committee listened to the concerns of residents and continued the request for three months. The City Council is the only option for a public discussion of the project because the Planning Commission has refused to consider the project to be part of the Natick Avenue solar proposal even though it is a critical part of the infrastructure.
The Planning Commission has no difficulties considering the impact of infrastructure improvements when discussing commercial developments. Traffic studies for adjacent roadways and intersections are accepted, discussed, and reviewed by third parties. The reconstruction of over three miles of residential power line infrastructure to accommodate a private developer should not be shrouded in mystery. Take a drive down Laten Knight Road to see what National Grid and solar developers can do to a residential neighborhood. Did anyone on that street know what was coming when the Planning Commission approved the Lippitt Avenue solar project?
The City Council should insist on a public hearing with National Grid to discuss National Grid’s plans. This part of the Natick solar project will have a bigger impact on more residents than the project site itself. A critical element not discussed is the impact on the morning and afternoon commute for hundreds of western Cranston residents. The Lippitt project took at least two months to complete. How long will National Grid’s private contractor snarl traffic along the main commuting route in western Cranston? The Lippitt project involved as many as five to seven bucket trucks in one location. What is the proposed construction schedule?
The developer has a record of failing to disclose critical information. City officials should not follow suit. The City Council and the Planning Commission should not continue the mistakes of Lippitt solar.