Improved Purpose Statement
Approximately forty local landowners, along with other interested citizens who appreciate the potential of well-regulated sola have formed a group we call Limestone Solar.
We have identified 38 changes to improve the JPC’s Sept 2021 draft solar ordinance. These changes are modeled on the KY Model Solar ordinance and the Dec 2020 draft solar ordinance circulated by Judge Pfeffer.
This page discussed only the first improvement – the purpose statement.
While we desire well-regulated solar, the opposition (Citizen Voice of Mason County Inc.) repeatedly states their goal is NO SOLAR. This anti-group was originally called Citizens Voice of Mason County. That earlier group successfully kept wind power out of Mason County when their version of the Wind Energy System (WES) zoning ordinance was adopted. That WES ordinance is full of requirements designed to make developing wind energy uneconomical.
While Solar and Wind would have a dramatically different impact on a community, Citizens Voice is trying to block solar the same way they blocked wind energy.
Judge Pfeffer circulated a Dec 2020 draft version of the solar ordinance. That version had this as its purpose statement:
“The purpose of this ordinance is to facilitate the siting, development, construction, installation, and decommissioning of solar energy systems (SESs) in Maysville/Mason County in a predictable manner that promotes and protects the safety, health, and welfare of the community. This ordinance encourages the appropriate siting of SESs to bolster local economic development and job creation, diversify the state’s energy portfolio, strengthen energy and grid security, and reduce other environmental impacts. The appropriate siting of SESs considers, avoids to the extent possible, and mitigates any adverse impacts to wildlife, productive and nationally important agricultural lands, forests, endangered species habitat, and historic, natural, and other sensitive lands. The appropriate siting of SESs also establishes standards and requirements to assure that the use and enjoyment of lands located adjacent to and in the proximity of SESs are fully protected. The requirements of this Ordinance are intended to be supplemental to any safety, health, or environmental requirements of federal, state, or local laws, and regulations”
This statement discusses the solar’s potential benefits and reviews the concerns the ordinance must address.
Soon after Judge Pfeffer’s tragic death, nothing more has been heard of the Dec 2020 draft solar ordinance that he had circulated. By March 2021 we started hearing statements like “they decided to base the SES ordinance on the WES ordinance.” I have reviewed all public records and have not been able to find any public record of when/who made that substitution decision. In any case, this assuredly follows the Citizen Voice of Mason County Inc. plan to “stop solar”
This is evident when we look at the current purpose statement.
Sept 2021 draft version
The purposes of this Section are to:
A. Assure that any development of industrial scale solar energy projects within Maysville
and Mason County, Kentucky, is safe and effective; and
B. Provide a framework for development for solar energy resources which balances the
benefits of renewable energy production with protection of agriculture, existing residential use
and existing built environment.
This ordinance should regulate ALL solar, Integrated Solar, Rooftop Solar, Small Scale Solar, Intermediate Scale Solar, and Large Scale Solar. In their attempt to introduce the pejorative term “industrial”, this version loses sight of regulating all solar.
Note the Dec 2020 draft discusses “promotes and protects the safety, health, and welfare of the community. This ordinance encourages the appropriate siting of SESs to bolster local economic development and job creation, diversify the state’s energy portfolio, strengthen energy and grid security, and reduce other environmental impacts. …”
After comparing the two versions, I expect you will agree the Purpose statement from the Dec 2020 Solar draft be adopted.