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Small Town.
Big Solar?
Size Matters!
Time Line


The land proposed for this utility-scale solar facility
was in the Bell's Lane Agricultural-Forestal District
at the time it was purchased, on August 23, 2022.
This overlay zoning prohibited development
through December 31, 2030.

The City of Staunton received an application on January 13, 2023
to remove these 96 acres from the agricultural-forestal overlay zone
between Commerce Road and New Hope Road,
along with an application for a Special Use Permit and Siting Agreement
for the installation of a utility-scale 15.75 MW solar energy
electric power generation facility
and a 5MW community solar facility on the site.

The matter of removal from the district was reviewed
by five members of the Agricultural & Forestal Districts Advisory Committee
at meetings on February 6 and 24, 2023
and recommended for approval by a vote of 3-2.

This matter was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission
by a vote of 4-1 at their meeting on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

City Council considered the matter on Thursday, May 25, 2023.
The request to remove the parcel from the agricultural-forestal district
passed by a vote of 6-1, with Alice Woods as the one 'nay' vote.
The vote on the requests for a special use permit
and a siting agreement with the city were postponed by unanimous vote,
following a motion by Michele Edwards and seconded by Mark Robertson.

City Council planned, then cancelled, a trip on June 12, 2023
to Whitehouse Solar Farm in Louisa, Virginia.
It is unclear as to whether any or all members of the
City Council have visited any utility-scale solar facility.

City Council again considered the Special Use Permit application
and the Siting Agreement on June 22, 2023.
Among many issues addressed by city residents were:
NonCompliance and NonTransparency of
Agricultural-Forestal Advisory Committee.
Solar Project is not in accord with the
City's Comprehensive Plan.
Misinformation about the inclusion of
Battery Storage in the Project.
However, the project was approved by a vote of 5-2,
with Amy Darby and Mark Robertson dissenting.

Due to irregularities in the approval process, including
non-compliance with City and State Code,
blatant omissions in references to the Comprehensive Plan
and lack of Due Diligence,
six neighbors filed a legal challenge in Circuit Court
on July 24, 2023.

Staunton City Council was served
with notice of the legal challenge
by the Sheriff's Department on July 26, 2023.

The City Attorney filed a Demurrer
with the Court on August 10, 2023.


We will post notices of upcoming public meetings on this page.

The links below are pdf files, documenting the process thus far: