Updates to Pulaski County’s solar farm regulations were finalized by the county commissioners Monday. Building Inspector Doug Hoover explained that the changes to the Unified Development Ordinance include an updated fee schedule and setback requirements.
“One of the biggest changes was anytime a commercial solar comes in, it has to go in front of the BZA as a hearing,” Hoover said. “That way, it gives the surrounding people a chance to put their two cents in to it.” Small-scale personal solar panels would still be allowed in most areas, under certain conditions.
Hoover said he, Building and Zoning Coordinator Karla Pemberton, Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer, and County Attorney Kevin Tankersley spent a lot of time working on the updates. They got a favorable recommendation from the advisory plan commission before going to the commissioners Monday. The changes go into effect January 1.
The new rules will pave the way for what county officials hope will be some significant solar farm development. Hoover told the commissioners he’s gotten interest from a few different companies, as well as individuals looking to install their own small-scale solar arrays.