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Letter: Solar project caught community off-guard

The 450 solar panels that were recently installed

The 450 solar panels that were recently installed on top of the Brentwood Public Library. Credit: Brentwood Public Library

I'm disappointed that Newsday passed judgment on my community and me before even reaching out to us for the facts ["Opponents of solar farm offer thin arguments," Editorial, Sept. 24]. The consternation in Shoreham over the proposed solar project is not the result of NIMBYism; it's the result of being caught off-guard about a major proposal in our downtown one week before the final town approval vote, and three weeks before construction would start on a 60-acre, 50,000-panel, utility-scale solar power installation.

I'm pro solar. When I was a member of the State Assembly, I sponsored many of the laws that enabled the solar industry to become as vibrant as it is today. I welcome an installation like this to Shoreham, though I think putting it into an industrially zoned area would make more sense. The Shoreham nuclear power plant site owned by the Long Island Power Authority has all of the connections to the electric grid.

What concerns me most is the lack of transparency and community input into the plan at the DeLalio sod farm, in the middle of a residential zone. This decision predated my tenure on the LIPA board. We need to examine how a project of this magnitude could have been so far along without the majority of the community being aware of it.

There are ways to improve the proposal at the site, including preserving the rural character on Route 25A by setting this project back from the road a few acres. Additionally, the project should not be anywhere near homes. Preserving views and maintaining rural character are directives established under the Shoreham community's 25A Corridor Study/Comprehensive Plan.

Marc Alessi, Shoreham

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