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During a called meeting on Tuesday, the Legislative Committee of the Board of Supervisors made a recommendation to have staff advertise appropriate revisions to Pittsylvania County's solar ordinance.
"There are some holes in our current ordinance," said Emily Ragsdale, Community Development Director for Pittsylvania County.
These appropriate, proposed changes, which are still being finalized, are expected be advertised in time for a public hearing with both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors in November. The Planning Commission would make a recommendation regarding any changes to the Board of Supervisors, which has the authority to change the ordinance. Some of the changes that have been discussed include increased buffer requirements and rules about the width of landscape buffers, as well as regulations around County totals for acres, number of projects, or megawatts generated.
"I want to keep a certain amount of topography of agriculture in this County," said Joe Davis, Supervisor for the Dan River District. "I don't necessarily want a solar farm stuck on every piece of property in the County. We need to draw this in and I think it needs to be better scrutinized."
A public hearing regarding solar development and revisions to Pittsylvania County's solar ordinance surrounding revenue sharing options was advertised and scheduled for September's Board of Supervisors meeting. To allow for additional consideration to be given to the matter, that hearing ultimately was pushed back to a later date. Pittsylvania County's zoning ordinance has a variety of requirements and regulations for any utility-scale solar facility. This includes limits on the zoning designations where solar can be developed, decommissioning bond requirements, and setback and buffer regulations. There are also regulations about the distance between each solar project. All of the current requirements and regulations are being examined, and the Board is looking at ways to limit solar development across the County.