Massachusetts

Residents ‘Horrified' Over Proposed Solar Farm Near Waltham/Lexington Line

Tracer Lane II Realty is behind the project and says it hears the concerns of neighbors and looks forward to addressing those.

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Jim Troy moved out to a stretch of Waltham, Massachusetts, for peace and quiet; his backyard opens up to a large swath of wilderness.

"I like the nature, I like the people," Troy said.

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Lauren Luallen loved the feel of the neighborhood, too; it's a big reason why she picked the area when she moved into her new home last year.

"It finally feels like we found our dream spot," Luallen said.

But Troy and Luallen now feel like all of that could be threatened. Troy and Luallen live on the Waltham/Lexington line. The Town of Lexington's Planning Board is considering a plan to build a 1.0 megawatt solar project on a nearly 31-acre site on the Lexington side.

"I was horrified, I like solar energy, I think it is a good idea, but this is not the place to do it," Troy said.

"Fifty feet from your property line, having a huge power plant go in is definitely not what people want in this neighborhood or what we moved here for," Luallen said.

Tracer Lane II Realty is behind the project and says it hears the concerns of those neighbors and looks forward to addressing their concerns. The developer added that it does have some room on the property to be flexible on where the solar array is placed.

"I understand that is not our land but we have respected it and treated it as we would," said Bianca Stezzi, who lives in front of the proposed project. "We are asking for a reasonable set back."

Another concern, neighbors say, is the number of trees that must be cut down to make room for the array.

Lexington estimates some 800 trees could be impacted. The developers say they're willing to consider planting new trees to make up for it. Neighbors are still skeptical, though.

"We are not trying to kill the project entirely, I don't think anyone is trying to do that," Stezzi said. "We are just trying to live kind of peacefully."

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