Maysville Mason County Planning Commission July 7, 2021, Meeting

This recording was captured by an IPhone at the meeting.

After addressing old business the commission moved on to compare their impressions of the July 6, 2021 trip to the Hillcrest Solar Project owned by Innergex. At approximately minute 53 David Reed (the commissioner who at the June meeting disclosed he thought setbacks should be 2000 feet) introduced a motion. The motion passed with only two dissenting votes. After the meeting I was was unclear of the exact language of the motion, and so called Mr. Larger to ask for the exact text of the motion that passed. Here is his response.

Here is KRS 278.704 being discussed

Mr. Reed’s stated justification for his motion is to learn how many acres of utility-scale solar may be developed in Mason County. While everyone would like to know the future, this motion will at best see only a short way into the future. Because the world will continue to spin and conditions will change, the board’s goal must be to craft regulations that deliver the best future for all Mason County citizens. This motion seems to indicate a desire to base solar regulations on utility-scale solar farms currently being considered.  

Many of us believe well-regulated utility-scale solar farms can help all of Mason County. I hope the board will draft the necessary regulation for the long term and not draft regulations to support specific homeowner’s fears. (I do not doubt that some believe their property value will fall to $0 if a solar farm is in their area. However, matched-pair analysis of property values near utility-scale solar demonstrate their fear is unfounded.)

This attempt to determine the acreage being considered for solar will not see the future but may support “not in my backyard” thinking. The planning board should be drafting regulations for all of Mason County without considering which individuals they affect today.

The Planning Commission has been considering Solar since March 2019. Our county needs the economic and ecological benefits of solar today. Please encourage your community officials to move the process along and complete the adoption process for Solar regulations.