BOLIVIA – The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners approved as presented during its March 19 meeting amendments to the solar farm requirements in the unified development ordinance, or UDO.
The planning board in October approved changes to the UDO, which included a requirement that solar energy farm operators submit to the county an updated decommissioning plan every three years, as reported at the time. The county at the time only required a decommissioning plan for solar farm properties that are transferred from one owner to another.
The planning board recommended a size limit change from 35 acres to no more than 50 acres, enough land to accommodate solar farms up to 45 acres and the required setbacks.
The text amendments went before commissioners during the board’s Nov. 22 meeting, when it voted unanimously to send the text amendments back to the planning board. As reported in November, commissioners were uncomfortable with the size limit and the proposed requirement for a decommissioning plan every three years.
After discussion and public hearing, the planning board addressed concerns by recommending the following changes to Proposed Solar Farm Text Amendment:
- Eliminate size limitation.
- Eliminate the every three-year update requirement and require an update upon change of ownership.
- Eliminate the improvement guarantee requirement (bonding).
- Require a special-use permit for solar farms.
The Planning Board Feb. 12 during its regular meeting voted unanimously to recommend approval of the revised text amendment as proposed.