The Page County Board of Supervisors and the Page County Planning Commission are holding a joint public hearing on June 28 at 7pm for input on the updated solar ordinance.
This will likely be the only opportunity to comment on this current, and hopefully final, version of an ordinance that does a good job of protecting Page’s water and soil and the agriculture and tourism industries they support.
The draft ordinance includes many of the protective design standards for utility-scale solar development that we’ve advocated for over the last year such as:
– Projects must minimize and avoid locating on soils categorized as Prime Farmland and Soils of Statewide Importance. The acreage cover of a solar facility may have no more than 50% of such soils.
– Ground cover on the site is required to be pollinator-friendly native and non-invasive vegetation.
– Projects must be located at least one mile from town boundaries.
This draft also includes an aggregate cap of no more than 300 acres total developed for utility-scale solar county-wide and an individual project cap of 30 acres, both of which are lower than the earlier version of the ordinance. What do you think about these and other details in the draft ordinance? Mull it over and come prepared to share your thoughts with the supervisors and planning commissioners on June 28.
One concern we have is that the language in the ordinance includes a provision to waive the comprehensive plan review process at the discretion of the board of supervisors. Also, discussed at the recent planning commission and board of supervisors meetings is a significant change from the previous version to allow utility-scale solar development adjacent to residential zoned property with a 600-foot setback, whereas previous versions did not allow any utility-scale solar development adjacent to residential districts. We look forward to learning more about this and other changes at the public hearing.
Ultimately, we applaud the planning commission for their persistence in putting forth this ordinance that ensures that if solar is incorporated into Page’s landscape, it will be in a way that protects what citizens value in the county. And we’re relieved that we may be, again, close to having a solar ordinance approved and in place!