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Small Town.
Big Solar?
Size Matters!
New! June 2024
Make the Paperwork Match the Promises!
The developer and city council assured the citizens of Staunton
there are no dangerous batteries in the plans for a solar facility.
Let's get it in writing!
WHEREAS the code of Staunton was amended in July 2022 at the request of Flying Rock Property, LLC, a Midlothian corporation, to permit solar energy facilities in the city’s industrial zones
and WHEREAS Flying Rock’s application for a utility-scale facility at 801 Commerce Road, on 96 acres of land (adjacent to residential, office, recreational, and agricultural properties) was approved by city council on June 22, 2023 and remains the only solar facility approved within the city limits
and WHEREAS, due to concerns raised by Staunton citizens, Flying Rock Property LLC and its affiliates (the applicant) repeatedly stated that there are no batteries planned for its solar facility (* See below.) but, the special use permit was not updated to reflect this promise
and WHEREAS similar solar facilities have experienced battery fires which burn for days, releasing toxic chemicals into the environment, necessitating area evacuations and road closures, and endangering the physical and economic health of the community
and WHEREAS Staunton’s fire department is not trained or equipped to prevent or extinguish lithium ion battery fires

WE, THE RESIDENTS and FRIENDS of STAUNTON (consisting of home, property, and business owners, renters, and visitors) respectfully request the zoning ordinance of Staunton be amended to specifically prohibit battery energy storage systems (BESS) on this and all utility-scale and community solar energy facilities in the city.  

* Required fields

* Official statements by the Applicant:

A memo, dated April 6, 2023, from applicant’s attorney to Staunton’s senior planner, states “The Applicant confirms that it is withdrawing the battery storage component of the application.”
In the City Council Agenda Briefing for May 25, 2023, the Project Proposal states “the battery energy storage facility has been withdrawn from the application and is no longer under review.”
In a circuit court hearing on November 13, 2023, the applicant’s attorney stated “there is no battery in the SUP as it stands.” ... “batteries are not in there. It's not in the approved Special Use Permit.” ... “ There are no batteries in this project.” and emphasized that the “plan does not account for any battery storage or energy storage either.”
However, neither the Special Use Permit for the project, nor the zoning ordinance of Staunton have been updated to reflect these statements.
Ask the City of Staunton to make it official: Prohibit battery storage at solar facilities in the city!