The Marshall County Commissioners considered an amendment to the solar ordinance during the meeting Monday, January 4th. The had been presented the amendment at their December 18th meeting but since the County Attorney had not seen the revisions, they table action.
In February 2020 the commissioners placed a moratorium on solar farms when it was discovered several farms in the southwest part of the county had been approached to lease their ground for a large-scale system consisting of more than 100 acres. The commissioner felt the county was not protected with requirements for such large-scale operations and implemented a taskforce to make recommendations to the current solar ordinance.
County Plan Director Ty Adley presented the revisions to the commissioners this week. Some of those changes included limiting solar farms on marginal agricultural soils in favor of Brownfield and industrial zoned sites. Amendments also included that sites shall be planted and maintained to be free of all invasive species as listed by the Indiana Invasive Species Council.
The commissioners recommended changes under Conditions: to include having topsoil preserved on site and graded to preserve the future viability of plantings and natural contours of the property be maintained. They also are requiring system components including panels, inverters, batteries and such should be a minimum of 95% recyclable.
Commissioner Stan Klotz said he is not in favor of tax abatement for Solar Farms but understood that the County Council makes that determination and not the commissioners.
The County Attorney told the commissioners he reviewed the changes and everything the requested was approved.
The Commissioners approved the ordinance amendment on second reading and will consider third and final reading at their meeting on January 19th.