For a change of pace, our meeting this month commenced with an introduction of some new members and first-time attendees. Glenn Gidaly then introduced his firm, Barton & Loguidice. He described the various office locations, the disciplines his firm offers, number of staff and told us about his newly renovated office building at 637 Broadway in the City of Newburgh. Glenn then took the crowd through a presentation of some of B&L’s Orange County projects.
We recognized Steven Neuhaus, Orange County Executive. Steve was given the floor where he described a number of his initiatives for economic development, infrastructure improvement and other projects his administration is busy working on for his constituents.
We then introduced our guest speaker for the evening, John Cappello, partner at local law firm Jacobowitz & Gubits. John presented a comprehensive, well-thought out and thoroughly researched presentation on zoning for solar energy generation.
John started his discussion noting that some of the municipalities are being reactive to applications for solar since they did not proactively create sections in their code for such development. John presented a very interesting slide showing the solar panel surface area required to power the world on a map. The area required was very surprisingly, approximately 1% of the total land area.
John also discussed small residential roof and ground mounted systems, small systems for businesses, universities and agricultural use. He further discussed commercial solar farms and some of the misconceptions regarding clear cutting of forested areas and the loss of farmland.
The topic of business of solar involving leasing, terms, increased property assessments, insurance and easements was presented. John closed his presentation stating that before entering into contract work, it’s wise to hire an attorney.
Orange County Planner David Church also presented information on the county’s activities, their assistance to the municipalities and their review of applications for solar.
FROM THE DESK OF JOHN LAVELLE AND ANDREW FETHERSTON, CO-CHAIRS