The Patrick County Board of Supervisors determined at a recent meeting to hold two public hearings on June 12 – one is a proposal to amend the county’s solar ordinances and the second concerns proposed changes to the county’s comprehensive plan regarding Land Use.
The hearings begin at 6 p.m.
“With regards to that particular solar ordinance, there was a tactical decision made on my part, frankly, to allow the ordinance to be adopted as it was presented given the extreme amount of effort put into it prior to our (Guynn, Waddell, Carroll & Lockaby, P.C.) appointment as county attorney,” County Attorney Mark Popovich said.
Because there was an understanding that a solar facility was on the cusp of submitting an application, Popovich said he felt it was important to have an ordinance in place.
“Whether it was legally sufficient or not to at least have a stopgap measure (and) to have the ability to have a discussion with that solar organization,” he said an ordinance was needed.
“As it turns out, the imminent threat of an application wasn’t as imminent as I had understood it to be,” Popovich said and added that the Virginia Code section cited in the original ordinance specifically speaks to regulating solar facilities based on a zoning ordinance.
“Patrick County does not have zoning, so therefore it is not applicable in this particular instance,” he said.
Popovich said there is an option for the board to consider solar companies based on whether or not they comply with the county’s comprehensive plan.
In other matters, the board:
*Heard from Charles Vivier, of the Blue Ridge District, about rezoning. Vivier said he and about 25 others were moved from Patrick County to Carroll County because of Geographical Informational System (GIS) mapping. Vivier is appealing the decision.
*Approved the April 17 meeting minutes.
*Approved the bills, claims, and appropriations.
*Heard from Dolores East about a needed addition to the Handy Mountain Drive section of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) six-year plan.
*Heard from the Director of the Blue Ridge Regional Library system Rick Ward about the library’s budget and a request for additional funds to give library staff a raise.
*Heard from Regina Clark, Director of Prevention Services for Piedmont Community Service (PCS), about the organization’s prevention services.
*Heard from Ed Pool about solar and Cadmium telluride.
*Heard from Jim Best about solar, and panel chemical leaching.
*Approved American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund requests for a new utility vehicle for the Recreation Department, an employee self-serve timesheet, and funds to alleviate further flood damage to the Child Advocacy Center.
*Heard the administrator’s report.
*Heard supervisor reports.
*Appointed Charlie Bowman and Richard Cox to serve as at-large members of the Southern Area on Aging board, with terms expiring June 30.
*Appointed Roger Hayden to the Patrick & Henry Community College (P&HCC) as an at-large member, with the term ending June 2027.
*Appointed Jerry Adams, to the West Piedmont Planning District Commission (WPPDC) as an at-large member, with the term ending May 2025.