Lancaster adopts a solar ordinance, effective July 1

Pastor Peyton Waller of New St. John’s Baptist Church in Kilmarnock spoke in favor of the ordinance on behalf of other pastors in Lancaster County. Waller presented a petition containing the signatures of 131 people in support of the ordinance. Photo by Jackie Nunnery.

by Jackie Nunnery

LANCASTER—After much discussion and many revisions, Lancaster County has a solar ordinance.

Following a February 25 public hearing, the board of supervisors narrowly adopted the ordinance, 3-2. It will take effect July 1.

Planning/land use director Brian Barnes said utility-scale solar has been a subject of discussion since 2018, referencing a special exception request by Rappahannock Solar on a property off Ocran Road near White Stone. However, serious discussion about the proposed ordinance wasn’t taken up by the planning commission until January 2020. The commission recommended the proposed ordinance in a 6-0 vote after holding a public hearing in October 2020.

The ordinance outlines three types of solar facilities…