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Planning Board splits on solar farm

Jaclyn Anthony / Lincoln Times-News SailView resident John Thompson listens to the Lincoln County Planning Board as members discuss the proposed solar farm.

ELIZABETH HEFFNER

Staff Writer

Planning Board members shared conflicting viewpoints during Monday night’s meeting regarding the proposed construction of a solar farm in Denver.

The Planning Board voted 4-4 to recommend county commissioner approval of Strata Solar’s solar farm, which has created controversy because of its proximity to SailView, an upscale neighborhood, if several conditions are met:

Members agreed that there should be a landscape buffer provided, as shown on a Nov. 20 site plan. However, the evergreen shrubs should be spaced a minimum of 10 feet apart in each row, or staggered 5 feet apart. Also, Thorny Elaeagnus should replace the proposed Chinese privet.

At installation, the plants should be at least four feet tall. This excludes the land beginning at the Burton Lane corner near the point of interconnection and down to the corner behind the Rudy Sherrill property and the Roy Cochroft property and then west to the existing tree line, in which plants should be 6 feet tall at installation.

The fencing should be a black vinyl-coated chain-link fence, standing at 7 feet in height. No barbed wire should be used. No electrical wires should be placed overhead anywhere other than at the point of interconnection. All other lines are required to be underground.

As far as maintenance goes, the property should be inspected by the county at least on a quarterly basis. If plants need to be replaced or maintenance needs to be performed, notice would be given to Strata Solar or its agents. They would then have 20 days from the notice to replace plants or perform maintenance or else they would be in violation of the conditional use permit. With unforeseen circumstances such as drought or extreme heat, they shall have five days to request an extension.

The Planning Board also voted 7-0 to recommend approval regarding a request for a parallel conditional use rezoning in the Catawba Springs Township. Applicant Jean Turbyfill is requesting the rezoning of 2.6 acres to permit a storage, picking, packing and shipping center, self-storage and related services facility. The property is located at 301 N. N.C. Highway.

 

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