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County Board of Supervisors Will Hear Sol Orchard Appeals Wednesday

Three groups, including the Ramona Community Planning Group, will speak out against the proposed solar farm.

Residents and groups in opposition of a proposed 42-acre solar farm off Warnock Drive will attend the San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting tomorrow, Feb. 6, where they'll ask for an appeal of the County Planning Commissions approval of the project.

On Oct. 19 last year, the Planning Commission voted on this item after hearing testimony from 16 speakers—five in support and 11 in opposition.  After discussion of alternative site locations and a motion to extend the landscape buffer from 20 feet to 50 feet, the Planning Commission voted 6-1 to recommend approval of the Sol Orchard Ramona Solar Energy Major Use Permit

In January of last year, the Ramona Community Planning Group unanimously voted against the proposed solar farm, saying the project didn't fit with Ramona's community plan.

Three separate parties are asking the County Board of Supervisors to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision to grant the Sol Orchard Ramona Solar Energy Major Use Permit:

  • Lozeau Drury LLP, on behalf of Laborers International Union of North America
  • The Ramona Community Planning Group
  • Jerry Myers on behalf of Citizens for a Rural Ramona

Sol Orchard, which is proposed for 1650 Warnock Dr., includes the construction and operation of a photovoltaic solar farm that would consist of approximately 42.7 acres of solar panels over a 110-acre site with a production capacity of 7.5 Megawatts, according to the county.

A County Board of Supervisors planning report said the panels would be single-axis tracking panels which would range from an eight-foot to an 11½-foot height at maximum tilt.

The majority of the panels will be 8-feet tall and they would be screened by an 8-foot tall fence and landscaping, the report said. The panels would be aligned in rows that rotate to face the east in the morning and west in the afternoon to maximize solar absorption.

Energy from the site would be delivered to an existing overhead 12 kilovolt (kV) distribution line that runs parallel to Warnock Drive, according to the county.

The Board of Supervisors meeting will be on Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. at 1600 Pacific Highway in San Diego, room 310.

The full agenda and report can be found online at the County of San Diego website.

Christine Phillips February 05, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Apparently they have more faith in the birds abilities to avoid large objects in Texas. Seems to me if they killed all the birds they would find dead birds all over the ground. What do you think a nuclear leak does to everything? How about the steam from a coal plant? But wait those things aren't around here, so as long as you can flip your switch and have power, who cares how you get it. Seems to me being close to the power lines is practical. Would you rather have more of those huge high power lines in Ramona? Read any of the leukemia studies done about living under those lines? And you are still ignoring the fact that perhaps that landowner can no longer use the land to make a living farming. What is his opinion? Seems to me he has the biggest input to be listened to. And you didn't comment on the pig farm, which is agricultural and still was fought.
Diane Chapman February 05, 2013 at 11:27 PM
We are not talking about Texas Christine...we are in Ramona.....birds are an issue. In Texas, there are vast areas in the middle of open space that may be perfectly fine for birds. No one said we do not want solar power, so the comments about nuclear and coal are irrelevant. We are talking about an area of land that is agricultural with many families nearby in residential areas. Yes, it makes sense to put the panels under the power lines, but not there. Why not away from homes and farms? And as for the farmer, as with all the other property owners in the valley, they had eyes wide open when the decided to move to an ag area abd the resulting laws governing what they could and could not do with the land ! http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2011-08-28/national/35269438_1_wind-turbines-wind-farms-wind-power http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/17/us-wind-farms-under-fire-for-bird-kills/ http://www.nature.com/news/the-trouble-with-turbines-an-ill-wind-1.10849 It is really that simple !
sandra j February 06, 2013 at 03:17 AM
where can i buy a no-ne-my-mo-com* shirt? *not near my morning commute
Catryna White February 06, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Bring it on! Give that blasted SDGE some competition. It's better than huge windmills and much better than those stinking power poles. We just finished a 72 panel solar array on our property and it is not unsightly.
Catryna White February 06, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Exactly Greg! Obviously these people in this neighborhood can't smell the stink in their own backyards, in regards to the dairy and egg ranches that surround them. Talk about nuisance. Yet, they yammer negatively about something as constructive as a solar farm. Wow. I say get on with it, get it done and give SDGE a little competition and the common citizen a break. I'm just hoping it won't be the fiasco San Onofre was.

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