July 6, 2015
The Honorable Mayor Joanne Yepsen
The Honorable Commissioner Chris Mathiesen
The Honorable Commissioner Skip Scirocco
The Honorable Commissioner Michele Madigan
The Honorable Commissioner John Franck
Dear Mayor and Commissioners;
My name is Robert Manz and I am a life-long resident of our beautiful City. In early June, I was honored to be elected as the first-ever Chair of the Board of Directors of the Saratoga PAC. The primary mission of this new organization is to encourage and support a balance between expanding economic opportunity and protecting our environment while enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life in Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County.
Our Board met last Thursday and discussed our desire to see more City residents and businesses make use of solar energy AND our City’s long-standing goal of focusing development within the downtown core. These two goals should represent an opportunity to bring our community together in a way that will allow us to move forward. That is why we voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council adopt the pending amendment to the Zoning Ordinance, Section 6.4.8, removing the Transect-6 Zoning District from the prohibitions of this section of the ordinance.
If this change is approved, the City will be able to continue to pursue a range of actions to expand the installation of solar panels through Solarize Saratoga, the development of a solar field on the City’s landfill, etc. This action will then also allow downtown property owners within the T-6 Zoning District to pursue infill projects that will enhance our downtown’s vibrancy without fear of making a significant investment in the pre-construction development of a parcel only to find that the parcel is suddenly rendered undevelopable because the adjoining property owner installed a solar collector.
The approval of this amendment as supported by the City’s Planning Board will again unite our community in support of reasonable, balanced and progressive actions that will enhance our City’s vibrant character. Residents and businesses will continue to be encouraged to install solar panels throughout the City, as I have done at my own home, while not disproportionately restricting growth in our downtown core. This is clearly a win-win worth supporting!
Robert Manz, Chair, Saratoga PAC