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Catawba County statement on the rejection of a solar energy facility

Catawba County Government|July 18, 2022
North CarolinaImpact on LandscapeImpact on PeopleZoning/PlanningPhotovoltaic Solar

The Catawba County North Carolina board of commissioners released this statement explaining why it voted to deny a request by Blackburn Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, to rezone 635 acres in the county to allow for a proposed solar energy facility. The solar facility was planned to cover roughly 310 acres of the property. The text of the statement is provided below. The statement can be accessed at the document links on this page. 

 
 

CATAWBA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED PLAN CONSISTENCY AND REASONABLENESS STATEMENT

Zoning Amendment Request: Four parcels totaling 635 acres from R-40 Residential to R-80-Conditional District (R-80-CD) (RZ2022-04) to allow for a utility-scale solar facility. The properties are identified by Parcel Identification Numbers 3617-04-73-9646, 3617-04-61-5203, 3616-01-49-9954, and 3616-02-78-2925 recognized in the 321 Eco-Tech Development Plan and Startown Small Area Plan.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners finds the request inconsistent with the 321 Eco-Tech Development Plan, adopted July 2011, Map 6, Future Land Use Recommendations, recommending lowdensity residential use for the properties identified in the request. Additionally, the request is inconsistent with the Startown Small Area Plan, adopted October 2005, which also recommended the properties for lowdensity (1 dwelling per 2 acres) residential use. The request is consistent with the Startown Small Area Plan’s recommendation for conservation of land along the South Fork River and the 321 Eco-Tech Development Plan’s recommendation for providing opportunity for Carolina Thread Trail location, but remains inconsistent with the overall land use recommendations for low-density residential.

Pursuant to NCGS 160D-605, the Catawba County Board of Commissioners finds the use of a utility-scale solar facility at this location to be an unreasonable request due to:

1) The concern for future water quality of adjacent properties and the South Fork River;

2) The concern over noise from inverters necessary for power conversion and their proximity to adjacent properties;

3) Concern for health issues;

4) Finding the request inconsistent with residential use and development pattern recommendations; and

5) It not being in the public’s interest.


This the 18th day of July 2022.
_______________________
C. Randall Isenhower, Chair

Attachments

Catawba County Rejects Solar 2022 07 18

October 17, 2022


Source:https://www.catawbacountync.g…

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