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Letter: Make the best of ongoing solar farm moratorium

The ongoing solar moratorium is important because Rowan County is developing rules and regulations for solar developers building in our county. The county’s current regulations are easily accessible.

Surrounding counties have much stricter regulations than Rowan and that makes us vulnerable. County commissioners have no legal way to turn down applications without stronger regulations in place.

Once the planning board sets up regulations, county commissioners will vote on them. It is extremely important that all of us, as citizens of Rowan, talk to the commissioners and make our feelings known on this issue. Current solar farms in Rowan have major issues with erosion and dying vegetation buffers. The one on John Rainey Road , approved in 2017, with weeds much higher than the panels, has never even been put online.

Solar developers operate under LLCs. The facilities change owners every couple of years. Under current county regulations, they are not held responsible for paying for the decommissioning costs. The cost will fall to the county and, ultimately, the taxpayers.

Solar farm developers are in it for the tax credits and investments, not the environment.

If they were concerned with the environment, they wouldn’t recently have come to Rowan County with intentions of cutting down a 428-acre forest. Forests can store up to 93 tons of carbon per acre. Solar belongs on buildings, not on agricultural or forested land.

Our future, is in the hands of the planning department and county commissioners. It’s my hope they make decisions that will effectively conserve the environment, preserve local ecosystems and protect the property rights of local residents while safeguarding the local economy.

Kathy Webb

Sali

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