There was a packed house at the last Tate Township Trustee meeting on 2/14/2023. Over 100 residents of Tate Township and surrounding townships attended to voice their concerns about solar farms and to learn more about SB52 (Senate Bill 52) as it relates to solar planning and zoning in Clermont County. The trustees invited parties from the Clermont County Planning Department to speak at the meeting.
Taylor Corbett, Clermont County Planning & Zoning Department and Scott Gafvert, Economic Development Specialist gave information to the residents starting with a brief overview on the 4 types of solar projects:
- Major scale- 50 megawatts and above.
- Minor scale- Under 50 megawatts.
- Commercial – For business facilities.
- Residential – For local single family homes.
All types of solar use must be considered when the Township Planning Commission designs a plan for the community. Careful attention to the current and future needs of Tate Township should be reviewed in order to find spots to put/allow solar use and not allow solar use. Clermont County is encouraging the Tate Township Planning Commission to design a functional plan that stands alone on each of the 4 types of solar projects. Once finalize, the trustees will pass a resolution to adopt the solar zoning plan and present it to be used by Clermont County Planning Department when accepting or rejecting any future solar projects within Tate Township. Corbett stressed to the residents that Clermont County wants all the townships within the county to create good, well thought out, evidence-based plans. He suggested having at least 3 public meetings to get resident input.
Gafvert explained the new rules as a result of Senate Bill 52:
- Creates county restricted areas to all or part of unincorporated areas for wind and solar projects.
- Requires all solar or wind projects to hold a public meeting at least 90 days but not more than 300 days PRIOR to filing to the OPSB for a certificate.
- Local officials serve as ad hoc OPSB voting members; S.B. 52 creates two new voting ad hoc members of the OPSB: the chairperson of the township board of trustees and the president of the county board of commissioners, or their designees.
- Any project must present a decommissioning plan and bond.
Applicability to pending projects: SB 52, includes grandfathering provisions to address certain projects currently under development. This includes the Nestlewood project (solar), which has 110 acres in Tate Township along the Brown County line.
Representatives from Nestlewood were invited to attend the February 14, 2023 meeting. They declined to attend.
Comments about the Nestlewood facility project can be emailed to: contactOPSB@puco.ohio.gov
Additional information can be found on the Clermont County Planning webpage