Scituate: Solar permit fee cut in half, possible affordable housing unit chosen

Earlier this year, Scituate joined the Solarize Mass Program to entice residents to use solar energy for electricity. However, excitement has died down after homeowners learned the obstacles of placing a solar panel on top of their houses, including a $300 permit fee.

Tuesday night, Town planner Laura Harbottle met with the Scituate Board of Selectmen to suggest changing the $300 fee to only $150.

Harbottle explained why it is important for the town to make the program more attractive to hesitant residents, “This program adds another discount to purchasing the solar panels. And Scituate is only one of four towns that got approved for this discount.”

In a unanimous decision, Scituate selectmen voted to decrease the solar permit fee to $150.

Scituate resident Richard Lane also met with the board of selectmen Tuesday night to discuss a possible affordable housing unit located near Hadley Road. Currently, there are only two affordable units in Scituate. The house being proposed would accommodate a single family who meets qualifications.

Lane described the vacant town property to selectmen, “It’s a small lot; 13,431 square feet and a 10,000 square foot zoning. The Building Commissioner Mr. Dugan took the footprint of the proposed habitat house and laid it out within the envelope of which the house could fit and it would be exactly like the house by the police station.”

The board was all in favor of the proposed affordable unit however they felt town residents should be given more time to respond to the request. The vote was delayed two weeks until the next selectmen meeting in September.

About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.