Council to conduct hearing on former golf club

GLOVERSVILLE — The Common Council will conduct a public hearing during Tuesday’s meeting on the proposed rezoning of the former Pine Brook Golf Club property on South Main Street from residential to commercial.

A portion of the Pine Brook Golf Club site at 280 S. Main St. is eyed for development by Eden Renewables, a Troy based developer of community solar farms, which has proposed purchasing approximately 58 acres of the 150 acre parcel to construct a solar array with a capacity of 7.5 MWp capable of powering about 1,225 homes.

Eden representatives hosted an open house at Pine Brook Golf Club in the former club house on June 26 to provide details on the proposed community solar project to area residents, to answer questions and to receive public input.

According to initial plans, solar panels would be installed on roughly 32 to 35 acres at the center of the 58 acre site with a gap of 15 to 20 feet between each row of axis tracker solar panel modules that are approximately eight and a half feet tall that follow the path of the sun throughout the day.

The site would be secured with a fence immediately surrounding the solar array and monitored with the use of closed-circuit television cameras. No on site staff would be employed, with Eden performing routine maintenance at the site a few times a year or as needed.

The solar farm would be screened from sight with additional trees and shrubs planted along the existing border surrounding the former golf course. Eden also plants and maintains indigenous pollinator friendly wildflowers throughout the area of solar arrays and works with local beekeepers to bring hives to the site to pollinate the flowers.

Developers have yet to bring plans for the community solar project before the city Planning Board to seek approval for construction of a solar farm on the Pine Brook property which is located in an R1 residential zone where solar farms are not an allowed use.

Permitted uses in the R1 residential zone according to city zoning include single-family detached dwellings and incidental accessory structures or equipment on the same lot and two-family dwellings.

Uses subject to a special permit include the creation of one or more dwelling units in an existing building, the conversion of a single-family or two-family dwelling into duplexes, conversion of a multifamily dwelling to create additional units, daycare centers, home businesses, bed-and-breakfasts, rooming houses, homes for the aging and multiple-family dwellings with no more than four dwelling units.

Uses subject to site plan review include townhouses, condominiums, cooperatives, churches or other places of worship, schools, public parks and playgrounds, golf courses, country clubs, cemeteries, nursing homes, municipal or public utility structures, hospitals, health service centers, libraries and museums.

The Common Council will conduct a public hearing during Tuesday’s meeting at City Hall at 6 p.m. on a proposed resolution amending city code to rezone the 280 S. Main St. property as a commercial zone as City Attorney Anthony Casale reported during the Aug. 27 meeting representatives of Pine Brook Golf Course have requested.

Under city code utility-scale solar collector systems and associated solar energy equipment for private, commercial or utility uses are allowed in the commercial zone subject to special permit.

The council resolution to rezone the property states that “the properties bordering the subject parcel are presently situated in a ‘C’ zone.” According to the city zoning map, the large parcel at 280 S. Main St. borders properties that are zoned both R1 residential and commercial.

The Common Council will take up the possible amendment after considering a resolution to adopt a negative declaration relative to rezoning under State Environmental Quality Review indicating that the action will not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts. The Common Council declared itself lead agency under SEQR during the Aug. 27 meeting.

By Josh Bovee

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