More thoughts on schools' solar panels
The lack of communication by the school district board of trustees with all the property owners who are affected by the installation of the industrial-looking and unsightly solar panels should be a real concern to everyone in our community.
One wonders why the school district chose not to notify the neighboring property owners that solar panels would be installed in their neighborhood, and why it failed to include public hearings about the installations, the time line for installing, and other important issues such as health and safety issues in the composition of the soil being disturbed, or a study on what impact such an installation would have on each neighborhood. For example, having those panels in the neighborhood has already lowered the value of the homes surrounding the Railroad Avenue installation, and undoubtedly for all other homes near schools.
At the August school board meeting, a number of owners spoke to board members about some of the above issues, and only after that meeting were neighbors invited to a special meeting to discuss how the unsightly "industrial panels" could be hidden through various types of landscaping. However, no mention was made as to the continuing cost of maintaining the plants and the surrounding grounds, nor how the district will deal with any potential vandalism, of which there certainly will be attempts.
While Valley voters approved the last bond measure with the understanding that solar panels would help save the district some money in the long run, it would have been prudent for the trustees to have considered inviting the neighbors to a meeting to inform them of what the plans were for the installation of the panels.
The neighbors with whom I have spoken could have helped in a very positive way to solve some problems that now exist and that, as a result, could become more costly to correct.
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Mary Logasa is a resident of Sonoma.