COUNTY APPROVES COMMERCIAL SOLAR ORDINANCE

COUNTY APPROVES COMMERCIAL SOLAR ORDINANCE

The few local residents who addressed the County Board of Supervisors were cautiously approving of the new solar development ordinance. Dan Stork describes their last requests…
Since it was a consent agenda item, and no Supervisor requested additional discussion, the San Bernardino County ordinance on commercial solar development was approved without further debate at the Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday. But several Morongo Basin residents, speaking from the teleconferencing site in Joshua Tree, requested some specific considerations in its implementation. National Parks Conservation Association representative Seth Shteir asked that wildlife corridors already identified for other purposes be used when evaluating commercial solar sites, and promoted the notion of Recreational Tourism Zones to establish more protected areas. Pat Flanagan cautioned against dust hazards during windstorms, if ground disturbance is excessive. Almut Fleck asked for greater scrutiny on water usage for cleaning panels. Julian Gonzalez asked for greater discrimination in the RL (Rural Living) category of zoning when evaluating solar sites. Supervisor Janice Rutherford, who was absent from the public hearing on the issue on December 3, registered her opposition to the ordinance, because she did not like the fee structure that it puts in place.

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