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County eyes moratorium on new solar sites

Davie is considering a six-month moratorium on new or expansion of solar generating facilities in the county.

A public hearing for the proposal is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, March 1 at the Brock Performing Arts Center on North Main Street in Mocksville.

The move comes after the recent approval of a 50-acre solar complex off Pudding Ridge Road, in which board of commissioner members said was one of the toughest decisions they had made, trying to limit the growing number of facilities in the county while still preserving property owner rights.

It will also come after the planning board heard a proposal for an 800-plus acre facility in southern Davie (Planners were expected to make a recommendation on that proposal at a meeting last Tuesday).

The moratium would not affect any proposed facility with paper work filed before moratorium decision.

If adopted, while the moratorium is in effect, commissioners are asking the planning board to:

• consider development standards related to scale, location, construction impacts, screening and buffering, setbacks, decommissioning;

• prepare and recommend any related amendments to the current solar energy generation facility standards in the county’s zoning ordinance; and to

• provide updates and receive direction from the commissions on any topic relevant to establishing or maintaining a solar energy generating facility.

The board will also hold a public hearing on a proposed greenway, bicycle and pedestrian master plan.