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Town planners set public hearings for solar farm, motocross, snow equipment storage, biogas projects

By Mike Pettinella

The Batavia Town Planning Board on Tuesday night set public hearings for four projects, including a 5-megawatt ground-mounted commercial solar system on a large agricultural parcel at 9327 Wortendyke Rd.

Speaking at the board’s meeting at the Batavia Town Hall, Will Nieles, project developer representing New Leaf Energy said the solar array will cover about 15.7 acres of a 51.3-acre field in an Agricultural-Residential zoned district.

The application has been submitted by Judy Green/Wortendyke Road Solar 1, LLC. Previously, the project was recommended for approval by the Genesee County Planning Board.

Nieles said the site was selected due to its extensive natural screening, noting that no major tree clearing will be needed. Marc Kenward of Erdman Anthony engineering suggested that the board conduct a visual simulation to see how the solar farm will look years ahead.

Kacey Rose, also of Erdman Anthony, said that all setbacks are within town zoning requirements, and that none of the land designated as wetlands will be affected. She added that trucks will be coming and going from the site about 25 times per day during construction.

The board scheduled the public hearing for 7:15 p.m. on May 21. It also called for a State Environmental Quality Review, site plan review and special use permit.

In other action, the board:

-- Set a public hearing for 7:15 p.m. on May 7 to consider a special use permit and conduct a SEQR for East Coast Speedway’s plan to reopen a motocross track on the grounds of the former Polar Wave on Harloff Road. 

Jason Bonsignore of East Coast Speedway said the project has been modified to include one parcel of land – instead of the original proposal of two parcels – in an effort to bring the motorcycle, ATV and go-kart track back “exactly as years ago.”

The board is requiring a special use permit for the project to go forward.

-- Set a public hearing for 7 p.m. on May 21 in conjunction with a request by Peter Yasses of Byron to obtain a special use permit to construct a 100-foot by 50-foot storage facility at 8887 Alexander Rd. to store his loaders and snow removal equipment.

Yasses said he does much snow removal work in Batavia and has found it difficult to go back and forth to Byron.

“I rent space now in the city. I’d like to own something,” he said.

He also is seeking a build a 30x30 enclosed salt shed and will have a couple small piles of top soil on the land that he plans to purchase.

The board voted to conduct a SEQR and seek lead agency status for the proposal.

-- Set a public hearing for 7 p.m. on May 7 in connection with the proposed CH4 Biogas plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. 

Discussion centered around compiling a list of comments from regulatory agencies, the planning board and others to submit to the applicants prior to the board hearing from town residents on May 7.

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