More Standards Designed to Stop Solar

Approximately forty local landowners, along with other interested citizens who appreciate the potential of well-regulated solar 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 – Application Pre and Post Construction Proceedures

The Oct 2021 Draft proposed – “414.16 APPLICATION PROCEDURES

A. Permits and variances for industrial scale SES shall be applied for and reviewed under the procedures established by this Ordinance and shall include the following information:

  1. Contact information of project applicant including the name(s), address(es), and phone number(s) of the applicant(s), as well as a description of the applicant’s business structure and overall role in the proposed project.
  2. Contact information of current project owner the name(s), address(es), and phone number(s) of the owner(s), as well as a description of the owner’s business structure and overall role in the proposed project, and including documentation of
    land ownership or legal control of the property on which the SES is proposed to be located. The Planning and Zoning Administrator shall be informed of any changes in ownership.
  3. Contact information of project operator. The name(s), address(es) and phone number(s) of the operator(s) if other than the owner. If the owner assigns a different operator at any time, they are obligated to notify the Planning and Zoning Administrator.
  4. Legal description-The legal description, address, and general location of the project.
  5. A General SES Project Description, including to the extent possible, information on solar panels to be used, including:
    a. Number of solar panels/arrays;
    b. Manufacturer of solar panels with brochure depiction;
    c. Name plate generating capacity;
    d. Solar panel/array heights;
    h. The means of interconnecting with the electrical grid;
    i. If the applicant has a purchase power agreement (PPA) name the entity;
    j. All related accessory structures.
  6. Site Layout Plan. A site layout plan, drawn at an appropriate scale, showing distances pertaining to all applicable setback requirements. The site layout plan must be certified by a registered land surveyor, and depict:
    a. Property lines, including identification of adjoining properties, with a notation indicating participating and non-participating landowners;
    b. SES access roads;
    c. Substations(s), and operational support meteorological tower(s) location;
    d. Operation and maintenance building location (building to be permitted separately);
    e. Electrical cabling;
    f. Ancillary equipment;
    g. Occupied structures within one quarter one mile of all proposed SES project areas
    i. Distances from SES arrays to each setback requirement;
    j. Location of all existing and planned public roads which abut, or traverse the proposed site;
    k. The location of all above-ground utility lines within a distance of one mile of
    any proposed SES structure;
    l. The location of any historic or heritage sites as within the SES Project Area;
    m. The location of any wetlands based upon a delineation plan prepared in accordance with the applicable U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requirements and guidelines; and
    n. A topographical map of the project area and a one-mile perimeter with contours of not more than five (5) foot intervals.
  7. A map from the Natural Resources Conservation Service identifying prime farmland and farmland of statewide importance (if in a district zoned as agricultural).
  8. Sound Study. A sound study that identifies all known occupied structures within of every proposed SES project area, including a description of the potential sonic impacts of any SES arrays or structures and on adjacent properties as per standards indicated in Section 414.09 C.
  9. Communications Study. A communications study required by Section 414.10 B.;
  10. Light Reflection Study. A light reflection modeling study that identifies all known occupied structures and the effect of any SES array on those structures as per Section 414.08(M).
  11. Engineering Certification. For all SES, the manufacturer’s engineer or another qualified registered professional engineer shall certify, as part of the building permit application, that the foundations and designs of SES structures are within accepted professional standards, given local soil and climate conditions. An engineering analysis of SES structures showing compliance with the applicable regulations and certified by a licensed professional engineer shall also be submitted. The analysis shall be accompanied by standard drawings of all SES structures. The engineering certification may be completed following submission of an improvement location permit application on condition of being required no later than thirty (30) days prior to initiation of construction.
  12. Utility Notification. Evidence that the pertinent electric utility company has granted approval for interconnection.
  13. Statement of Federal Aviation Administration compliance. A statement of compliance with all applicable Federal Aviation rules and regulations, including any necessary approvals for installations within proximity to an airport, and/or studies/compliance related to glare effects from SES.
  14. Statement of Kentucky Airport Zoning Commission compliance. A statement of compliance with all applicable Kentucky Airport Zoning Commission rules and regulations and any necessary approvals for installations within proximity to an
  15. Compliance with Fish and Wildlife Requirements. Proof of correspondence and cooperation with wildlife agencies for the purposes of preventing harm to endangered or protected wildlife species and migratory birds and in compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Applicants shall provide documentation that they are in communication and cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kentucky Department of Natural
  16. Compliance with National Electrical Code. A line drawing of the electrical components in sufficient detail to allow for a determination that the manner of installation conforms to the National Electrical Code. This information is typically supplied by the manufacturer.
  17. Good neighbor Notice. An affidavit of service along with supporting documentation that indicates notification was given to all property owners (as per current records of the Mason County, PVA) in and within ##### of the proposed footprint of the SES project no less than 30 days prior to the date of official approval sought by or on behalf of the applicant involving any City or County agency or body. The Notice shall contain at minimum:
    1. Amap showing the general layout of the project.
    2. An opportunity to meet with the petitioner or contact information whereby questions may be asked by the public.
    3. A list of steps that will required to accomplish the project.
    4. Any other item reasonably requested by the Building Inspector.


Prior to the issuance of any building permit, the following shall be required and materials submitted and reviewed by the Building Inspector, who shall certify that the submissions are in compliance with all applicable regulations:

  1. Federal Aviation Administration permits application and approval, if applicable.
  2. Decommissioning pPlan as described in Section 414.11.
  3. Economic Development Agreement, Drainage, and Road Use and Maintenance Agreements required before issuance of an improvement location permit.
  4. An Economic Development Agreement approved by the appropriate Executive authority shall be developed. The Executive authority may include other stakeholders in the negotiations at its discretion. The Economic Development Agreement, is sometimes referred to as a PILOT Agreement.
    1. A Road Use and Services Maintenance Agreement approved by the appropriate Executive authority that addresses, at minimum, the following:
      1. A compilation of routes that will be used for construction and maintenance purposes, approved by the Director of Public Works;
      2. A documented baseline survey to determine existing road conditions prior to construction. The survey shall include photographs, or video, or a combination thereof, and a written agreement to document the condition of the public facility;
      3. A surety bond or similar instrument approved by the County Attorney, in an amount sufficient to ensure that future repairs to public roads are completed to the satisfaction of the unit of local government. The cost of bonding is to be paid by the applicant. This requirement may be addressed in conjunction with the Economic Development Agreement;
      4. A plan to address transportation routes and conditions during construction. If the route includes a public road, it shall be approved by the appropriate highway official(s) and school transportation departments;
      5. A plan to avoid damage and to address repair to damaged roads;
      6. A requirement that newly constructed SES access roads will not impede the flow of water; and
      7. Provisions to address crop, field tile, waterway and other infrastructure damage.
    2. An Erosion Control/Storm Water Plan compliant with any storm water quality management plan adopted by the State or local applicable jurisdiction.
    3. A Utility Plan drawn to the same scale as the site layout plan illustrating the location of all underground utility lines associated with the total SES Project. This may be incorporated into the site plan.
    4. A Dust Control Plan detailing reasonable measures to be employed to control dust during construction of an industrial scale SES Project. This may be incorporated into the Road Use and Services Maintenance Agreement.


Post-construction, the applicant or successor shall comply with the following provisions:

  1. Road Repairs. Any road damage caused by the construction of project equipment, the installation of the same, or the removal of the same, shall be repaired as per the Road Use and Services Maintenance Agreement.
  2. As-Built Plans Requirement. Whereupon completion of all development, the exact measurements of the location of utilities and structures erected during the development are necessary for public record and shall therefore be recorded. The applicant or successor shall submit a copy of the final construction plans (as-built plans), as amended, to the Building Inspector with the exact measurements shown thereon. The Building Inspector, after being satisfied that the measurements are substantially the same as indicated on the originally approved final plan(s), shall approve, date and sign said Construction Plans for the project, which the applicant or successor shall then record.
  3. Post Construction Sound Study. Within twelve months after the date when the project is fully operational the operator shall conduct a two phased postconstruction sound study conducted by an independent accredited sound engineer chosen by the Planning Commission and paid for by the applicant/owner. Postconstruction sound level measurements shall be taken both with all SES systems running and with all SES systems off. The post-construction measurements shall be reported to the Planning Commission and made available for public review.
  4. Change in Ownership. It is the responsibility of the owner or operator listed in the application to inform the Planning and Zoning Administrator of all changes in ownership and operation during the life of the project, including the sale or transfer of ownership or change in operator.

Mason County’s WES regulation was drafted to make Wind uneconomical in Mason County. Being assured that no one would apply under the WES rules, there was no reason to ensure a WES was built to coexist with its community.

Using the Conditional Use process is our best alternative to consider each SES on its own merit. Because Solar is a complex land-use. Adopting the Conditional-Use regulations set forth in the Ky Model Solar Ordinance is our best way to ensure that well-regulated solar ill benefit Mason County citizens. The conditional Use process will cover the appropriate issues raised in this section, without the excess burden imposed in this section..

Also – industrial scale is not a defined term and again shows the authors attempt to use pejorative terms rather than the defined terms of Small Scale Ground Mounted SES, Intermediate Scale Ground Mounted SES, and Large Scale Ground Mounted SES.

Many of these requirements are redundant as the KY PUC State siting board already has similar requirements. This is yet another example of piling on requirements with no demonstrated value add unless the objective is to stop solar.

Both these sections should be dropped from the draft ordinance.