TOWN OF DEERFIELD, N.Y (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The Town of Deerfield Planning Board met last night to discuss whether or not to extend the special use permit granted to solar company ClearPath for their 5 megawatts along Route 8 and North Gage Road.

“We have to follow the guidelines that are set as much as this kills me I am going to vote yes for the extension,” said Patricia Goldsmith, Town of Deerfield Planning Board.

The extension passed with 3 members voting yes, and two voting ‘No’. Residents at the meeting spoke up to say they wish that members who voted yes had thought of their constituents. 

“They were put in a position where they saw us they knew what these residents want or should I say don’t want and I think they went the wrong way,” said Lee Broomfield, Town of Deerfield Resident.

Residents are worried that allowing ClearPath to continue opens the door to further solar development. 

“The Deerfield Preservation Coalition believes that this is a door that opens. Opens the door for more solar in the area,” said Broomfield.

Residents urged the board to reopen SEQR, which is New York State’s Environmental Quality Review Act, which requires all state and local government agencies to consider the environmental impacts that a project like a solar farm could create. The Board however cannot reopen SEQR because once a special use permit is granted, there is no going back. At this time, members of the Planning Board have declined to comment on their decision. The next step in the fight over solar development is the second public hearing on the proposed solar law next week August 10th.