Solar installation on Cotuit Water District Land

The Barnstable Town Council voted 8-5 to withdraw without prejudice the zoning amendment to allow ground-mounted solar on 32 acres of Water Department land. The Water Department can come back with a new plan; it was clear, however, that the Council would not support the proposal in its current form given the overwhelming opposition of those in attendance at the meeting and the compelling testimony of the speakers.

The project required the Town Council to approve a zoning amendment to include Water Department parcels in a zoning overlay district. Barnstable Land Trust opposed the project and asked the Town Council to vote no on the zoning amendment. This solar installation puts at risk the Water District’s mission – to provide clean drinking water to the residents and businesses of Cotuit. It also puts at risk critical natural habitat designated by the Commonwealth. A key concern is the loss of forest that is now protecting both the groundwater and the Little River from pollution.

Read the Cape Cod Times story about the Town Council meeting here.

More information is also provided in the links below:

BLT Letter to Town Council

Op-Ed Letter from Brendan Annett, BLT Board Member

Interview with BLT Executive Director Janet Milkman on WXTK

Cape Cod Times article about the solar array proposal

BioMap2 CORE Habitat overlaid on Cotuit Water District Solar Array proposal