Greensboro will probably not be opposing the proposed solar farm on Mount Hope Church Road north of McConnell Road at the Guilford County Planning Board meeting on Monday, June 21, according to Mayor Nancy Vaughan.
Vaughan said, “The permit information was faulty.”
Vaughan said one reason Greensboro was no longer in opposition was that the solar farm, which is listed in Guilford County Planning Board documents as 880 acres, is actually about 450 acres.
Vaughan also said that along with the solar farm being about half the size listed in the official documents that most of the land was permitted for a solar farm in 2018 and 2019. The land is zoned agricultural and solar farms are permitted in Guilford County agricultural zoning with a special-use permit.
According to Vaughan, it’s only about 50 acres that is being considered for a special-use permit on Monday, June 21. She said those 50 acres are not contiguous and building on them would be difficult.
At the end of the Tuesday, June 15 City Council meeting, Vaughan had urged fellow members of the City Council to vote in favor of a resolution opposing the special use permit for the solar farm and the City Council passed the resolution by a 9-0 vote.
The land is outside the Greensboro city limits in unincorporated Guilford County, so the Greensboro City Council has no official standing in granting a special-use permit, which is why Vaughan had asked that the council pass a resolution in opposition. Tuesday night, Vaughan also said that she planned to attend the meeting in person to state the city’s opposition, but after received the correct information Vaughan said she saw no reason to attend the meeting.
Vaughan said the incident “showed a glaring problem in communication between Greensboro and Guilford County.”
She said that Guilford County and Greensboro need to have better communication about land use. Vaughan added that in the future the Greensboro Planning Department would be going over all the agendas for the Guilford County Planning Board.
Vaughan said she was also recommending that members of the Greensboro Planning Department meet with members of the Guilford County Planning Department on a regular basis.