A good reason to delay

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It’s a good thing that Charlotte County is taking its time in making decisions regarding how far it is willing to go with solar power in the area. We agree with a statement made by Cullen/Red House Supervisor Nancy Carwile at a recent joint public hearing between the Charlotte County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors regarding proposed amendments for solar uses. She said, “It’s very important that we think about the future of this county.”

No action was taken following the hearing regarding the proposed amendments — amendments which included, among many others, location and size restrictions such as the following: “No utility-scale solar energy system shall be located within one mile of an existing town boundary or another approved or constructed utility-scale solar energy system,” and “No solar energy system shall exceed 500 total acres.”

The reason for these new amendments is to ensure that solar panels don’t overtake land that can be used for agricultural purposes.

County Purchasing Agent/Planner Monica Elder said that following the public hearing, the planning commission met to review the items discussed.

“Because of the importance of this issue, we felt like we needed some additional time maybe to go back and do some research and come back to this,” said Elder.

We agree that additional regulations are needed to safeguard parts of the economy already in place within Charlotte County, but that while that is necessary, it should also be kept in mind that prospective companies interested in coming to the county could be put off by the time spent waiting on an action.