Anti-Solar folks attempt to use number of Setbacks as a poison pill to kill Solar

Anti-solar folks hope to deny Mason County the benefits of well-regulated solar. They advocate using the Wind Energy System regulation as a basis for solar regulations. This leads to an excessive number setback categories which serve no purpose other than reducing solar economic viability.

The 2020 solar draft circulated by Judge Pfeffer had regulation these categories

  1. Distance to Property Line
  2. Distance to public Road Property Line

The KY Solar Model code suggests regulating these setback categories

  1. Property zoned for residential or agricultural
  2. Property zoned for commercial, business, industrial, office or institutional
  3. public road

The Henderson County KY’s code suggests regulating these setback categories

  1. Equipment to Property Line
  2. Equiopment to Residential Structure

Madison County has no local setback regulations but instead leaves that level of detail to the KY PSC Siting Board.

New York State Model Solar Ordinance simply states “Large-scale solar energy systems shall adhere to the height and setback requirements of the underlying zoning district.”

The Illinois Model Solarcode (2020) suggests regulating these setback categories

  1. Setback from Property Line
  2. Setback from Roadway
  3. Setback from exisiting dwelling

The North Carolina Solar Ordinance 2020 Template The Illinois Model Solarcode (2020) suggests regulating these setback categories

  1. Setback to parcel line
  2. Setback to any residential structure

However, the current Mason County draft solar ordinance suggests ten categories. 

  1. Property line
  2. Residential dwellings, regularly occupied industrial or institutional buildings, public or semi-public institutions such as schools and churches and historical landmarks
  3. Public road right-of-way
  4. Other rights-of-way, such as railroads and public utility easements
  5. Public conservation lands
  6. Community or Rural Residential Districts
  7. Incorporated limits of a municipality and County boundary
  8. Wetlands, as defined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  9. Above-ground electric transmission or distribution line
  10. Cell towers, radio and television towers 

While wind turbines that reach hundreds of feet into the air may require this large number of setback categories, there is no logical justification for so many categories to regulate solar arrays that are less than 20 feet tall. Catagories four thru ten deliver no additional value to Mason County citizens.