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No decision on Victoria solar project

The Victoria Town Council and Planning Commission held a joint public hearing Tuesday, April 13, to hear concerns on an application for issuance of a conditional use permit (CUP) for a solar facility.

The CUP for Mary and Gordon Erby and 6th Street Solar 2, LLC is to construct a utility-scale solar project on 28.3 acres of land in Victoria.

According to the application, the three-megawatt solar facility is proposed to be located at 2188 Poorhouse Road.

During the public hearing, representatives with Borrego Energy gave a presentation on the project, telling those present that the solar panels would have a projected life of about 30 years.

According to John Bennett, an engineer with Borrego, the area encompasses 48 acres, with the proposed solar project area to be around 28 acres.

“There is a small acreage of swamp area which will not be disturbed,” Bennett said. “There will be 8,500 ground-mounted solar panels with a barrier of trees or buffer to reduce visibility along with a fence for security.”

According to Bennett, a gravel driveway leading from Poorhouse Road will be used to access the construction site.

Bennett also said there are and no properties in site of the proposed project.

“We have been working closely with the town manager and have met all required setbacks and requirements,” Bennett said.

According to Bennett, the construction timeframe is four to six months.

During the public hearing citizen, Sean Au spoke to say 30 years was a long time for solar panels to be in place.

Project Director Jessie Robinson explained that once the solar panels reach their lifespan, they would be decommissioned by the company relieving the burden from the landowners and taxpayers.

Following the hearing, the planning commission deferred a decision on the CUP and plan to meet again before the May Town Council meeting to present recommendations to council.

On May 13, the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors will also hold a public hearing on the issue.

The public hearing is to determine if the solar facilities request is in compliance with the Lunenburg-Kenbridge-Victoria comprehensive plan.