LETTER: Why should solar company get more time?

Stop Johnston Solar: 'Green Development is now requesting an extension on these plans so that they can keep coming before Zoning Board again and again'


Dear Fellow Johnston Residents and Neighbors,

On Tuesday, April 2, 2024, the Johnston Planning Board will consider extending the timeline on their decision from March 3, 2022, relative to (Cranston-based) Green Development’s Master Plans for industrial solar arrays located in the last remaining large parcels of residential area here in our town.

On that day two years ago, the Planning Board quickly voted to approve FIVE (5) Green Development Master Plans. These plans included the installation of over 111,000 solar panels on 324 acres of woodlands, natural habitat and former farmland along Winsor Avenue, Rollingwood Drive, Elmgrove Avenue and Harilla Lane. This land is zoned for residential use and should not be used for industrial purpose.

The solar projects, knows as Winsor I, Winsor II, Winsor III, Elmgrove II and Harilla I, were rejected by the Johnston Zoning Board for Special use permits in 2022. Green Development came back before the Zoning Board again in 2023 for Winsor III, (the largest of the projects)  and was again denied in January, 2024.

Green Development is now requesting an extension on these plans so that they can keep coming before Zoning Board again and again, hoping for poor attendance and minimal opposition so their destructive projects can get approval. Why should they be given more time to go back before the Board? The Board has repeatedly denied these applications.

These applications take vacant, residentially zoned land in Johnston, wipes out green space, blankets the ground with solar panels and installs lithium batteries for power storage. The proposed solar installations are vast and will have a devastating impact on the land that will never recover in our lifetime. These types of projects belong on land zoned for industrial and commercial purposes ONLY and are NOT intended for residential use. Please attend the Planning Board Meeting on April 2, 2024 at the Johnston Senior Center, 1291 Hartford Avenue at 6 p.m.

Thank you in advance for your opposition to industrial solar development in residential areas and your support for the preservation of Johnston's quality of life. Residents pay more than their fair share of taxes. The town must take our concerns into account and deny this extension for this project.

We look forward to your attendance at this very important public meeting.

Thank you,

Stop Johnston Solar (SJS)

Editor’s Note: The neighborhood group Stop Johnston Solar was formed two years ago in opposition to Cranston-based Green development’s plans to clear trees and install thousands of solar panels on more than 300 acres of undeveloped, mostly wooded land.


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