The Linn County Board of Supervisors today voted 2-1 against the proposed ordinance amending Section 107-149 Renewable Energy Overlay District of Chapter 107 Unified Development Code to establish a six-month moratorium on rezoning to the Renewable Energy Overlay (“RE”) zoning district for utility-scale solar projects. The proposed ordinance amendment would have placed a six-month moratorium on all utility-scale solar applications to allow for code amendments to be made to the current code to address the conditions discussed during the Coggon Solar LLC utility-scale solar application process.
“We’ve learned a great deal about industrial-scale solar projects over the last six months,” said Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker. “Our existing ordinances are strong, and allow for changes to be made to individual projects should the Board find it necessary. Given the pressing challenges of climate change and energy production before us, enacting a county-wide moratorium on solar projects would be unwise and counterproductive to our sustainability goals.”
Applications for utility-scale solar will continue to be accepted by Linn County Planning & Development. Once an application is received, County staff will make all application materials available on the Linn County Planning & Development webpage. Meeting schedules for each utility-scale solar project will also be communicated as they are set. Planning & Development staff will continue to work on updating the Renewable Energy Overlay Zoning District code with lessons learned from the Coggon solar project and will announce those updates when they are finalized.