BURRILLVILLE – A request to construct two new commercial buildings and a solar array on a vacant property at the corner of Victory Highway and East Avenue has been granted final approval by the Burrillville Planning Board, and is now set to move forward.
“Bronco Terrace,” will include two 4,908-square foot buildings, a 44 space parking lot and a 1.5-acre, 250 kW ground-mounted solar system, according to final plans submitted by owner and developer Andromeda Real Estate of Lincoln.
At a meeting on Monday, Jan. 9, planners unanimously approved Phase I of the project for construction of the new commercial structures, noting that Phase II approval for installation of the solar array can be completed administratively, without a return before the board.
“I anticipate that construction will begin in the coming months,” said Planner Raymond Goff. “There are some coordination efforts they will need to get in place before construction begins.”
The currently forested 8.74-acre lot is situated in a Village Commercial zone as well as the Route 102 Development Management District, and design plans by Marc Nyberg of North Smithfield-based Insite Engineering show an access road to be built off of East Avenue. The decision notes that the project is consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan in that it supports the use of renewable energy and will have no significant environmental impact.
The approval is conditioned on the developer obtaining the needed permits from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Oakland Mapleville Fire Department. The decision also notes that the approval is limited to general office uses of the commercial space, and that any heavy traffic-generating uses, such as a restaurant, would require an additional traffic study. The developer is required to remove dead trees from the lot to be replaced with new greenery and planned buffer trees must be planted on the southernmost portion of the lot, which features residential properties facing Victory Highway.
The commercial buildings, meanwhile, will be located at the northern end of the property, closest to the busy roadways. The solar array, which marks Phase II of the project, will occupy the western portion, also close to Route 102
The plan marks a compromise from an initial application submitted in 2020, which envisioned a 20-unit condominium to be built on the lot.
The complete major development final plan for the project can be found here.
“…will have no significant environmental impact.”
Gotta love that line. No significant environmental impact: how do they say that if RIDEM hasn’t even issued a permit for the project yet? I bet there was no significant environmental impact for the 40-acres on Douglas Pike at Victory Higway in Nasonville that was just recently displaced for the new solar panels too? The soil erosion rills that now scour the hillsides, the displaced loss of wildlife on the nearly 40-acres of newly fenced off “wildlife exclusion zone” and the glaring solar panels plainly visible in the backyard of 550 Douglas Pike, and the road for that matter, must be so enjoyable. Love the fact that the panels face south/southwest on a 20% grade northeast facing hillside…planning & land use, what happened there?
The Oakland site will share similar sentiments to the cleared upland, the hundreds of pounds of silt that will drain down on to abbuting land as its bulldozed, the future increased runoff that will create new problems beyond the “engineers’ expectations”, the daytime glare & buzz of the solar panels and the night time glow of unshielded light pollution from the two new buildings. Burrillville does no review of artificial lighting impacts from projects that are popping up in Town too by the way. Just take a look at the industrial areas on Victory Highway & Douglas Pike in Nasonville, the Clear River Industrial Park, Davis Industrial Park, pretty much all of downtown Pascoag, most of Harrisville village area and mostly all the School Dept Buildings with the profound over use of glaring, un-shileded high powered light sources at night. Start reviewing this stuff Burrillville…really its time to codify an Ordinance to control its wide-spread, uncontrolled use on building permit projects!
But anyway, the yellow spotted salamandars, leopard frogs and box turtles will be resilient to the climate change about to occur on the Oakland lot and won’t see it as a significant impact to the environment…nor will the majestic white pines or knotty old oaks….nor will the neighbors whose impacts will be clearly visible & witnessed right from the comfort of thier backyards while their tying to enjoy a little slice of life while the “progress” takes place…after all, they don’t really have a say anyway.
“no significant environmental impact”….everything we do has a significant environmental impact. How long can we pretend it doesn’t?
And once again the almighty dollar holds sway over the health, safety and welfare of residents and the preservation of our precious environment. Will we never learn?