Lack of Broadband Leaves Reserve Communities Behind in the Pandemic) and have limited cellular service have asked that this controversial matter be held until the public can participate meaningfully after the pandemic is more under control.
Your voice matters... the Council needs to hear from you on this issue, take two minutes to send them a letter now.
Concerns with this significant zoning change are broadly held and have not been properly addressed by council members or staff.
Answering specific FAQs on this controversial issue:
-I support renewable energy, can you just give me the 2 minute synopsis on why this is such a big problem?
Yes, MCA does too. It is a matter of location and protections for the stated use of these lands - agriculture and open space protection. 2 minute synopsis right here.
- Why are local environmental groups divided on commercial Solar in the Ag Reserve?
-What are the protections in this ZTA for productive farm soils? (almost none)
-What are the established best practices on how a local government should handle siting of solar? Chesapeake Conservancy has a guide for Baltimore City + County.
-What do you mean by no protections for water quality?
The ZTA as approved by committee allows these arrays on up to 15% grades - a steep hill. Crops would not be planted on these grades under sediment management plans normally, disturbing the soil for mis-named "solar farms" would also result in sedimentation of streams and ultimately the Potomac. The Planning Department's own staff said that the siting of these arrays will protect "most of the wetlands" in rural areas (emphasis ours).