Solar Farm Projects Located Near Woodland
Update December 14, 2015
The Town Board of Woodland has to date received four (4) permits, proposing rezoning for the purpose of erecting solar panel farms within the zoning district of the Town of Woodland. The requests to the Board were to approve the rezoning of selected sites from RA (Residential District) to M2 (General Manufacturing), in order for solar farms to be erected within the zoning district of Woodland.
The Town Board of Woodland has approved rezoning from RA to M2 for three (3) site locations. The construction phase of one of those properties, the Outland Farm, which is located in the Southwestern section of the town, off of State Highway 258, is nearly complete. All three of the proposed sites were in locations that were elevated, or partially obscured from the roadway view. The fourth proposed solar farm site is located on 42 acres of open farm land at the East entrance of the town limits, off of State Highway 258.
Public Hearings were held for each proposed solar farm, which granted all citizens an opportunity to bring their questions and concerns before the town board and the solar farm companies. During the Public Hearings, everyone in attendance was encouraged to openly participate in discussions involving solar panel technology, as well as the environmental impact and the possible hazards related to solar farms. Discussions and information was also shared regarding the construction of solar farms, with a detailed review of the buffer and barriers between the solar farm and the adjacent properties, or neighboring residences.
Regarding the three site locations the town board had previously approved: one site is located in the Northeast section of the town (the White Farm); the second site is located in the Southeast section of town (the Burgwyn Farm); and the third site is located in the Southwest section of town (the Outland Farm). As stated previously, the fourth proposed solar farm site is located on 42 acres of open farm land at the Eastern section of the town's zoning district, off of State Highway 258.
At the December 3, 2015, Town Board Meeting, after listening to all of the concerned parties, the town board voted to maintain the RA zone for the fourth proposed solar farm site. The town council's decision to deny the rezoning of this fourth proposed solar farm site was due, in part, to a circulated petition by a group of concerned town citizens opposing the change of zoning for this fourth site. The citizens opposed the site location, because to grant the zoning request would create a situation in which the town would be completely surrounded by solar farms.
It should be noted that the solar companies have been gracious and were willing to accommodate and address any and all concerns from the town board and citizens of Woodland and for that, the town board is greatly appreciative.
The Town of Woodland welcomes new industry and business to locate here in Woodland, North Carolina. The town board and the citizens of Woodland are supportive of new technologies and industry growth. The approval of three solar farm sites located within the zoning district of Woodland is clear evidence of this fact.
The Town of Woodland will continue to explore opportunities to develop partnerships with industries, businesses and the citizens of Woodland, in an effort to foster further economic, commercial and residential development.