Here are the facts about the Bedminster Solar Project:
Maintaining the Rural Character
The site frontage along Country Club and Meadow Roads will be graded in such a way as to both hide the solar panels and maintain the rural character of the street scape. The proposed grading has been carefully designed to maintain the visual aesthetic of gently rolling farm fields and not a large berm with steep side slopes with landscaping along the road.
Site Agricultural Usage and Yield
The agricultural usage and yield on the site will increase as a result of the development.
Only 31 trees, as defined by the Township of Bedminster ordinance, will be removed. This requires the planting of 135 trees as replacements, however, a total of 144 trees are proposed to be planted on the property. In addition to the required tree replacement, the site plan also proposes 18 ornamental trees and 54 evergreens along with 62 shrubs to provide additional landscape buffering.
Protecting Environmentally Sensitive Areas
There will be no disturbance to wetlands, streams, or associated buffers for the installation of the solar panels. This means that the environmentally sensitive portions of the site are protected as required by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Vegetative Ground Cover
The disturbed portion of the site (other than areas covered by access road or inverter pads) will be replanted with meadow grass. This will include the area underneath the solar panels.
Solar Energy is Inherently Beneficial
Solar energy facilities are defined in the Municipal Land Use Laws as an “inherently beneficial use”. Since it fundamentally serves the public good and promotes the general welfare it is considered of value to the community.
Improved Stormwater Management
The proposed storm water management system meets or exceeds the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Township of Bedminster’s storm water regulations. The design actually reduces the amount of storm water discharged from the site by the required reduction factors of 50, 75 and 80 percent for the 2, 10 and 100 year storms respectively.
Majority of the Property to Remain Undeveloped
Approximately 60 %, or 79 acres, of the site is to remain undeveloped.
Majority of the Site will have No Wildlife Restrictions
29%, or 38.4 acres, of the site is to be located within the proposed fence. This means that approximately 71% of the site will remain unrestricted with regards to wildlife.
Existing Farmhouse is to Remain
The existing farmhouse is to remain and further serves to maintain the rural character of the site.