Franklin County adopts conservative, business-minded solar ordinance
The new ordinance will serve as a model for other counties
On July 19th, Franklin County's conservative Board of Supervisors adopted a solar ordinance after a year of study, public comment, and deliberation. The final ordinance draft represents significant improvement from the original proposal. Energy Right and supporters were present at the meeting. Skyler Zunk, CEO and co-founder of Energy Right, said, "I want to applaud you all on the ordinance you have set forth. I think it does a lot of phenomenal things and I am very impressed with the direction you have taken."
Zunk continued: "This ordinance is more conservative, it is more business friendly, and you are respecting the private property rights of the many people who call Franklin County home. I also think this ordinance ensures that solar projects are developed with respect for neighboring property owners."
Key aspects of the ordinance that will encourage clean Energy developed the Right way include:
- Strong decommissioning language requiring land in solar projects to be returned to its original state or better at the end of the project's life
- Requirements for natural vegetative buffers on the projects to protect viewsheds
- 150 ft setbacks from property lines
- Tax provisions to require projects to contribute to local tax base
Original proposals that Franklin County leaders thankfully left out of its final ordinance include:
- 60 acre caps on projects in the county's agricultural district
- 300 ft setbacks from roadways
- 5-mile distance requirement between projects
- Ban on Made in America solar panels
Energy Right believes this responsible, balanced, and conservative approach to Franklin County's ordinance respects property rights and sets the county up well for energy investments. The ordinance will allow great projects to come forward for consideration by County leaders to be judged on their individual merits. We look forward to seeing projects come forward with