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Oconee Solar Farm Isn’t Dead, Developer Says

Photo Credit: Lee Becker

Wild Indigo Crossing, looking toward the proposed solar farm.

When the developers of Wildflower Meadows, a 263- acre subdivision in northwestern Oconee County, wanted to launch the project in 2006, they assembled 10 different pieces of property to accommodate the proposed 170 lots.

The largest of the 10 assembled tracts was a 113-acre parcel owned by the Hammond family of Gainesville.

Another tract of 12 acres also was owned by the Hammond family, and today it provides one of the two Wildflower Meadows entrances off Dials Mill Road.

The decision of the family to sell the two tracts in 2006 came back to haunt it on Jan. 3, when the Oconee County Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 against a rezone request for an adjoining 204.8 acres owned by the Hammond family.

The majority of the commission argued that the proposed use for the 205 acres was incompatible with the Wildflower Meadows and other nearby subdivisions.

The Hammonds wanted to put a 30 megawatt solar energy farm on the property.

The project is not dead, however, according to Neville Anderson, who planned to build the solar farm on the Hammond property.

Anderson said he is only waiting the required six months before he once again asks the Board of Commissioners to approve the rezone for the solar farm.

“I honestly believe they [the commissioners] made a mistake” when they turned down the rezone request by the Hammond family on Jan. 3, Anderson told me on Jan. 19.

The rezone was a condition for Anderson buying or leasing the land from the Hammonds for the solar farm.

“There was no logical reason” for the Commission not to approve the project, Anderson said.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.