Well-regulated solar farms are a long-term, highly technical, capital-intensive land use. Solar will support our community’s economic and environmental future with appropriate zoning regulations. Zoning refers to municipal or local laws or regulations that govern how real property can and cannot be used in certain geographic areas.
There are three use categories considered when assessing “land-use district” (zones). Our local ordinance defines the categories as follows:
- Permitted: These are uses that are deemed to be the most appropriate uses, and are allowed in a district subject to the restrictions applicable to that district.
- Conditional: These are uses that are allowed in a district but which would impair the integrity and character of the district in which it is located, or in adjoining districts, unless restrictions on location, size, extent, and character of performance are imposed in addition to those imposed within this ordinance.
- Prohibited: The use is not allowed in that land use district
Each solar farm requires a unique solution to integrate into its locale. Requiring a conditional use permit also means: :
- The planning commission specifies measurable requirements for the use in that district.
- The developer crafts a proposal that achieves those requirements in that locale
- The community reviews the plan and comments on the proposal and may recommend changes.
- The Board of Adjustment hears from the developer and public and then recommends approval or rejection of the negotiated solar farm proposal for that location.
- The City or County then has the final vote to approve or reject the solar farm as proposed.
There are Mason Countians who are in denial about our area’s loss of dairy and tobacco income. With this denial and other unscientific or shortsighted reasons, they seek to block all solar development just as they blocked all wind power.
Solar panels and wind turbines use different technologies. That fact means we should pattern our solar regulations on the Kentucky Model Solar Ordinance. This Model Solar Zoning Ordinance is based upon a review of best practices from across the United States and is tailored to meet the unique needs of Kentucky, with the goals of encouraging appropriate siting of solar facilities and protection of the rights of landowners to the use and enjoyment of their lands.
Well-regulated solar can contribute to Mason County’s economic and environmental future. If we allow the opposition to stop solar, then everyone in Mason County must immediately search for another land use. We need more than denial to alter our current trends which are taking us toward a sad economic and ecological future.
If you give a damn about Mason County’s future, please tell the officials who control our zoning regulations:
Maysville Mason County Planning Commission Members
|Tim Teegarden (City)||Chairpersonemail@example.com|
|Tom Coe (County)||Commission Memberfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|John Hutchings (City)||Commission Memberemail@example.com|
|Annette Walters (County)||Commission Memberfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Peggy Frame (County)||Commission Member||Peggytony1900@gmail.com|
|Lesley Myers (City)||Commission Memberemail@example.com|
|Xandy Stewart (City)||Commission Memberfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|David Reed (County)||Commission Memberemail@example.com|
|George Larger||Planning & Zoning Administratorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Michael Clarke||Planning Commission Attorneyemail@example.com|
Mason County Fiscal Court Members
|Owen J. McNeill||Judge Executivefirstname.lastname@example.org||(606)564-6706|
Maysville City Commission Members
|Debra L. Cotterill||Mayoremail@example.com||606-564-9419|
|Victor McKay||Mayor Pro Temfirstname.lastname@example.org||606-584-0449|
|Matt Wallingford||City Manageremail@example.com||606-564-2521|
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