Last week, in a very surprising move, the Page County Board of Supervisors passed two motions at their work session that allow solar developments to move forward despite the fact that an ordinance has yet to be approved.
Solar was not on the work session agenda, and there is no opportunity for public input in work session meetings, but still, the board lifted the moratorium on solar developments with an effective date of September 21, 2021. Even more troubling, the board waived the comprehensive review process for current special use permit applications, including Urban Grid’s Cape Solar.
This is deeply disappointing, because it makes clear that members of the board who voted in favor of these motions do not value the promises they made to Page County residents. The board has been considering a solar ordinance for months, all the while promising citizens some version of the ordinance in place before any solar development would be considered. And now for some unknown reason, they have decided to move projects forward without any solar ordinance in place, breaking the promises they made to their constituents.
Here at the Alliance, since 2018 when large solar proposals began to surface across the Valley, we’ve advocated for careful consideration for the siting and design of projects in order protect our land and water quality. The board’s vote last week could mean zero evaluation within the context of the comprehensive plan of the Urban Grid project, and possibly any other applications that are submitted before a proper ordinance is put in place.
The Alliance team is scurrying to see what can be done to right what the board has done and ensure the Urban Grid proposal and other solar projects are thoroughly evaluated.
In the meantime, if you’re a Page resident, please take a minute to call your supervisor and let them know that you are disappointed that they would jeopardize Page County’s valuable natural resources and citizen’s trust by allowing any solar development to move forward before having a strong ordinance in place.