Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Shadows in your backyard? You're SOL

The state environmental review process has some strict boundaries, and one of them involves exactly how the impact of shadows can be assessed.

Several people commented to the Empire State Development Corporation that shadows would affect energy bills, deprive solar power rights, and make parks and gardens less pleasant.

To which the ESDC responded in the Final Environmental Impact Statement that shadows falling on private spaces is not their business:
Shadows on public open spaces including parks are fully described in the EIS. Streets, sidewalks and private backyards are not considered sun-sensitive resources or important natural features according to the CEQR Technical Manual. Further, as noted in previous responses, shadows move during the day, not affecting all portions of a neighborhood all the time. During the spring and summer months in particular, project incremental shadows would be almost completely limited to the Atlantic Avenue corridor for most of the day (midmorning to late afternoon). Neighborhood street trees are expected to receive more than adequate sunlight throughout the growing season. Furthermore, street trees are generally selected by species for shade tolerance and other characteristics that allow them to thrive in urban conditions.

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