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2 Lincoln County meetings to decide fate of solar farm

Strata Solar's solar farm in Kings Mountain, in Cleveland County. Click to see a list of the company's other projects. (SOURCE: Strata Solar)

Strata Solar’s solar farm in Kings Mountain, in Cleveland County. The company wants to build a similar facility in eastern Lincoln County, on Lake Norman. Click to see the company’s other projects. (SOURCE: Strata Solar)

Votes by two Lincoln County boards over the next two weeks could determine whether Strata Solar can build a planned 36-acre solar farm on land near Lake Norman. The plan has been at the center of a zoning battle over the past few months, with lakefront homeowners in the nearby SailView neighborhood organizing to try and stop the company.

The Lincoln County Planning Board meets again Monday, Dec. 9, after voting to continue a meeting that lasted six hours on Dec. 2 with no decision. The Planning Board is expected to offer its recommendation Monday night. The matter then goes to the Lincoln County Commission for consideration next Monday, Dec. 16.

Strata Solar LLC, of Chapel Hill, has applied for a conditional-use permit to build an array of 26,000 eight-foot tall solar panels on either side of Webbs Road, near Burton Lane in Denver.

The site would be Strata’s second in Lincoln County and one of about 40 the company has developed in recent years to supply utilities with solar-generated power. A similar project in Kings Mountain, in Cleveland County, opened last December, and another is under construction in western Lincoln County.

But nearby homeowners don’t like the idea, and they have packed public meetings this fall to express their opposition. At at joint Planning Board/County Commission hearing last Monday, Dec. 2, testimony stretched past midnight.

Strata says its plans meet all the county requirements and that it “will not produce any emissions or contain any hazardous materials,” according to its application. At the Dec. 2 meeting, officials said they were unable to satisfy the neighbors with their plans for shielding and landscaping the site.

Monday’s Planning Board meeting begins at 6:30pm at the James W. Warren Citizens Center, 115 W. Main St., Lincolnton.  The County Commission meets there Dec. 16 at 6:30pm.

RELATED COVERAGE AND LINKS

Strata Solar LLC website

Lincoln County Commission agenda documents from Dec. 2, 2013 meeting relating to the Strata Solar proposal.

Dec. 6, 2013, News at Norman, “Solar farm hearing ends in wee hours of morning, decision postponed”

Dec. 6, 2013, News at Norman, “Solar farm controversy demands compromise on both sides”

Sept. 8, 2013, DavidsonNews.net/CorneliusNews.net, “Lakefront solar farm could face opposition at hearing”

Sept. 16, 2013, DavidsonNews.net/CorneliusNews.net, Nadine Deason column, “Solar Energy? Please, not in my back yard”

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- who has written 488 posts on Real Estate.

David Boraks is the founder and editor of Davidson News LLC, which started in 2006 as a neighborhood blog and evolved into a regional community news network. He is a print, magazine, web and radio journalist, with experience in every nook and cranny of the news world, covering everything from local news to Fortune 100 companies to technology to Asia. He lives on South Street in Davidson, in a house that was at the center of a 1914 murder case. Ask him and he'll tell you that story.

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