Community Meeting on Solar Energy Farms
The Anne Arundel County Department of Planning and Zoning has rescheduled a public meeting to discuss dispersed energy uses in the County, especially Solar Farms, to May 23rd from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The meeting will still take place in the Southern Middle School cafeteria located at 5235 Solomons Island Rd, Lothian, MD. The meeting was rescheduled because it conflicted with a previously scheduled community meeting in South County.
At the urging of environmental advocates and the newly formed Agriculture, Agritourism, and Farming Commission, County Executive Steve Schuh and the Anne Arundel County Office of Planning and Zoning announced in December an immediate eight-month moratorium on the issuance of any approved dispersed energy operations, citing concerns regarding the impact of industrial solar energy operations, also called “solar parks,” in rural areas of the County.
Before the implemented moratorium, activities like industrial solar energy parks were permitted in lands zoned RA (rural-agricultural). In accordance with the County Code, allowing such industrial activity in rural lands reduces land use consistency and increases the likelihood of industrial land use encroachment into the rural and agricultural areas of the County.
The moratorium is providing an opportunity for Planning and Zoning, in collaboration with the Commission’s Dispersed Energy Committee, to study existing regulations and recommend appropriate measures and processes for current and future proposed energy operations.