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Ogdensburg Planning Board deems solar farms possible in the city

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There is, it appears, a zone-correct place in the city of Ogdensburg to go solar.

The city Planning Board recently gave a positive recommendation to the presence of a solar energy farm in the city. The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals, presented last month with a verbal inquiry about the feasibility of such an enterprise in a residential-business zone section of Ogdensburg, asked the panel for a recommendation.

Planning and Development Director Andrea L. Smith said Wednesday that the Planning Board decided at its March 6 meeting that a solar energy farm would be a better fit in the city’s industrial/institutional zone. It comes closest, she said, to an energy recovery facility that is a permitted use in that zone, according to the city code.

Like their zoning counterparts, Planning Board members said they support solar energy as long as its generation occurs in the proper place.

“It all depends on where you put it,” said board member Frank Perretta.

There are three industrial/institutional zones in the city. They are Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority property north of Washington Street between Paterson and Linden streets, the OBPA’s heavy industrial park south of Champlain Street and a section of the marina district on the west side.

The Planning Board’s recommendation will be sent back to the Zoning Board for a determination of use ruling at its March 26 meeting.

Solar power has a presence in Ogdensburg, as the city’s Richard G. Lockwood Civic Center on West River Street had solar panels installed on its roof two years ago.

City officials are also considering a private engineering firm’s state grant-funded proposal to achieve energy independence by installing solar panels and other renewable energy generators on municipal property.

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