Information session to shine light on solar farms
Published 1:40 pm Saturday, July 9, 2016
The Southampton County Planning Commission will have an informational session regarding solar energy generation on Thursday, July 14, in the Southampton County Office Center at 7:30 p.m.
Following Community Energy Solar LLC’s application for a 100 megawatts solar electric power generating facility northeast of Boykins, the planning commission has scheduled a meeting with the developers to learn more about the practicalities of solar power. Speakers will also provide information about local government involvement and tax issues.
This provides an opportunity for Community Energy to provide the planning commission and the people of Southampton County with more details about this opportunity before the commission holds a public hearing on the topic.
The request for the planning commission and the board of supervisors asks that there be a comprehensive plan amendment designating the land parcels in question as “Institutional.”
“’Institutional’ is the appropriate land designation for entities that serve the public or are public in nature, like schools and government buildings — entities that serve the public like churches, nursing homes and power generation,” said Beth Lewis, deputy director of community development at the planning commission meeting on June 9.
The request also asks for a zoning map amendment from A-1 (agriculture) to Conditional M-2 (general industrial), with a conditional use permit for a power generating plant.
“I am going to have a lot of questions,” said planning commission chairman Michael Drake. “That is going to be a rather long meeting.”
After the information session, a public hearing, in which community members can voice their thoughts and concerns, will take place on Monday, Aug. 11.
Commissioners can then recommend approval or denial to the Board of Supervisors.