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Planners Recommend Approving Oconee Solar Farm

The location of the proposed solar farm and planned subdivisions around it.

The Oconee County planning staff, after reviewing the revised plans for the solar farm on Dials Mill Road at McNutt Creek Road, has reaffirmed its recommendation that the Board of Commissioners approve the project.

In a report dated Dec. 27, 2016, the staff advocated that the commission grant Mr. Chick Farms Limited Partnership a special use when the commission meets at 7 p.m. today at the courthouse in Watkinsville.

The Staff Report addresses concerns raised by citizens in public hearings on Nov. 14 and Dec. 6, calling them “understandable” but dismissing them in the end as unfounded or inconsequential.

The report says that the request for special use approval for the solar farm is consistent with the changes in the zoning laws made by the Board of Commissioners on Mar. 1, 2016 to allow solar farms on agricultural land.

The report says it is “difficult to fully examine the compatibility of this use” with the county’s Comprehensive Plan, but, “if properly screened and maintained, the proposed solar energy farm may not negatively impact established residential development” nor prevent such development in the future.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.