Hemlock Hill Farm Solar Farm
Location: 46.08-1-1 (Yorktown) & 45.12-1-4 (Cortlandt); 500 Croton Avenue, Cortlandt Manor
Contact: Badey and Watson Surveying and Engineering, P.C.
Description: Proposed solar farm on a portion of the 50 acre Hemlock Hill Farm property.
Planning Board 12-21-2020
Prior to the board’s site visit, the applicant placed balloons on the site so that the visual impact of the solar panels could be judged from the abutting Hunterbrook Preserve. The general consensus was that only one balloon was very slightly visible and did not constitute a signficant impact.
A representative of the Westchester Land Trust that holds an easement to the Preserve expressed concern that stormwater runoff from the farm would exacerbate an existing problem that was causing erosion and pollution to the stream. Some clarification will be needed about the status of a dry ditch and also plans to upgrade an existing stream.
The DEP raised questions as to whether the application should consider impacts to the Cortlandt side of the farm, including impact to the wetlands on the Cortlandt side. Neither the applicant of the board thought this was needed. The board also will need clarification from the county on the identification of the correct part of the conservation easement that will be used for the solar panels.
Planning Board, 11-23-2020
The board has received a letter from the county saying that it has no objection to the solar farm. However, Mr. Bock called attention to the fact that the location of the solar installation on the county’s map was different from the location on the map provided by the applicant. The Planning Department will look into the matter. In general, the board agreed that this was a god location for a solar farm.
In a memo to the board, the Advisory Committee on Open Space (ACOS) raised two issues concerning the plan’s proximity to the Hunterbrook Preserve: stormwater runoff and visibility of the panels from the trails. The board said it would do a second site visit, this time from the vantage point of the preserve an assess what screening might be needed. A public informational hearing is scheduled for December 21.
Planning Board, 10-26-2020
The board did a site visit. The applicant has only submitted a concept plan. The solar panels will be on four acres on the part of the farm that is in Yorktown. It will be in an old, flat pasture area that is in the wetland buffer.
The Conservation Board has recommended that a pollinator mix be used under and around the panels.
Mr. Tegeder advised the board that the site has previously entered into a “transfer of development rights” agreement and that the board needed to see the documents. There was a brief discussion about the next step being a public informational hearing although it did not appear that a date for a hearing had been set.