Solar belongs in what Land Use Zones

Tobacco and Dairy once provided the economic foundation of Mason County’s agricultural sector. Their profits supported landownership. Both are almost gone from our area.

Many of us believe, well-regulated Solar offers Mason County’s landowners an ecologically sound way to replace the lost tobacco and dairy revenue.

The phrase “well regulated” is critical and defining which land use zones are appropriate for solar is an early decision required to reach “well-regulated”.   Let’s review the three zones where solar is considered

A1 is shown as Light Green

Agricultural Transition (A-1) is defined as follows· The A-1 districts have been established to provide for areas that are within or adjacent to the Urban Area and are either in transition to urban-type uses, or have a high potential for urban uses in the near future, as infrastructure becomes available.

With a key phrase being “as infrastructure becomes available. “

Solar is a perfect use because it does not need the infrastructure this definition demonstrates A-1 land does not yet have.

The official Landuse Map shows an abundance of A-1 zoned land, which can easily support Maysville’s growth far into the future.

·        These two facts justify a conditional use of Solar in A-1 districts

Agricultural (A-2) is defined as follows – “The A-2 districts have been established to preserve and protect the decreasing supply of prime agricultural land and to minimize urban-type development into rural areas until utilities, and other municipal services can be provided efficiently.”· With the loss of Tobacco and Dairy income, the economics of the remaining rural enterprises are forcing more and more landowners to sell house lots either along road frontage or by subdividing their land. This shows current rural land uses to deliver the exact opposite of “minimize urban-type development into rural areas”. Utility-Scale Solar provides an economic basis to stop this urban-type development into rural areas.

In addition, the sod under Utility-Scale Solar will preserve prime agricultural topsoil and reduce the agricultural chemicals entering our watersheds. 

These facts justify a conditional use of Solar in A-2 districts

Our community, at great expense, has installed infrastructure to attract development to our industrial zones. Solar does not need natural gas, city water, landfill capacity, rail, river, or extensive roads. Our land use planning should not waste our limited infrastructure.

Solar should only be in I-1, I-2 or I-3 land in unusal circumstances