The Hopkinsville City Council is moving forward with an ordinance to amend its zoning code to include Solar Energy Systems (SES) after hearing public comments about solar panels and the feasibility of solar farms in Christian County.
Peter Schlicker, an attorney representing BrightNight Power in Louisville, opened the discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting, saying the proposed amendment before the city council provides a 1,000- to 2,000-square-foot shortfall for larger solar installations. However, he believes the applicable standard is too restrictive and would prohibit large-scale solar farms and economic benefits.
click to download audio Dan Brechwald also spoke against the proposed amendment.
click to download audio Former city councilor and Pembroke Road property owner Marby Schlegel is also not in favor of the amendment and believes the setback should be negotiated.
click to download audio Local farmer Brandon Garnett of Edwards Mill Road talked about the economic impact of agriculture in Christian County, where he says it is statistically the No. 1 agricultural county in Kentucky. He said we need farmland for future generations, not solar farms.
Click to download audio When Phillip Garnett, of Bradshaw Road, addressed the council, he reiterated that they were not against solar power – it was about farmland.
click to download audio. He noted that they want regulations to prevent solar companies from taking over the county’s farmland.
And Heather Cook of Dogwood Community spoke in favor of the ordinance, saying she and her family are actively fighting the solar farm that “invades” her community. He noted that the area where he currently lives will suffer the most because the solar panels will cover his house.
click to download audio Community and Development Services Executive Director Tom Britton introduced the proposed amendment, saying it creates fairer guidelines for solar companies.
Click to download audio After more than an hour of questions and discussions, the council unanimously voted to prepare the decision for consideration at the next meeting of the city council.