The County Commission discussed permit fees for solar projects at its July 21 meeting. The commissioners discussed a range of fees, with Commissioner Jane Tabb proposing $700,000 to ensure the County covers its review and inspection costs while Commissioner Steve Stolipher suggested a cap of $75,000. Projects of similar size in nearby jurisdictions pay permit fees ranging from $700,000 to $1,400,000. The Commission decided to defer a decision and requested staff to provide further research and recommendations to be presented at a future meeting (Aug 4 or Aug 18).
The Blake solar project had a Public Hearing at the Board of Zoning Appeals for a Conditional Use Permit on July 28 at 2 pm. There will be a Public Workshop at the Jefferson County Planning Commission on August 9 (Tue) at 7 pm. Members of the public are invited to attend and comment on the Concept Plan. The Blake solar project map shows the solar panel fields on multiple parcels straddling Charles Town Road (Rt 115) and Kabletown Road, adjacent to the new Kings Crossing subdivision to be built just to the east of St. James the Greater Catholic Church.
A second utility-scale solar project, Wild Hill, will have a Public Hearing on its Concept Plan at the Board of Zoning Appeals on August 25 (Thu) at 2 pm and a Public Workshop for a Conditional Use Permit at the Planning Commission on September 13 (Tue) at 7 pm. This project was previously reviewed by the Planning Commission prior to the adoption of the current solar project zoning guidelines. This project is sited on several large parcels off of Kabletown Road south of Old Cave Road and extends westward to the Cloverdale Heights subdivision.
All meetings will be held in the County Commission meeting room in the lower level of the Charles Town Library (200 East Washington St – the lower level entrance is on South Samuel St).By Staff Contributor