Solar ordinance approved

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Members of the Kenbridge Town Council voted to approve ordinances that would include solar panels in zoning districts during its May 21 meeting.

The decision came after a joint public hearing between the town council and the Kenbridge Planning Commission.

Kenbridge Town Manager Robyn Fowler said no members of the public spoke during the hearing.

“If a homeowner wants panels installed on the roof of their building, it has to be on the back of the building and a zoning permit has to be obtained from the town,” Fowler said in reference to the ordinances. “If they want the panels installed in the yard, a joint public hearing will have to be held with council and the planning commission. A zoning permit will have to be obtained from the town as well.”

According to a public notice of the hearing, the ordinance would specifically add the language “solar panels and/or solar arrays not mounted on a roof of the primary residence, dwelling or primary building where the business conducts its business activities with a conditional use permit” for each zoning district in the town.

The public notice cited that “the ordinance would also add roof-mounted solar panels and/or solar arrays of 20 (kilowatt) kW or less with panels facing away from the road as a use permitted by right in districts R5, R6, R10 and R20. The ordinance will add roof-mounted solar panels and/or solar array systems of 100 kW or less are permitted by right in districts B1, B2, M1 and M2.”