The County Council vote was 6-0.
Frederick, Md (KM) In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the Frederick County Council rejected a request to rezone 151.3-acres near Walkersville from agriculture to solar facility.
The applicants wanted to build a solar array on more than 97-acres of the property along Biggs Ford Road and Dublin Road. The County Planning staff says the rezoning is not consistent with the comprehensive plans for the county and the Town of Walkersville, and it would take away 100-percent of the prime soil on the property.
During their presentation, the applicants said the facility, which would have been called Biggs Ford Solar Center, LLC, would create between 100 to 150 jobs during construction, but it would not require that many people to maintain it. They also said the facility would bring in $4.5-million in tax revenue to the county.
Several citizens testified against it. They said they were not against solar energy, but didn’t want these arrays in agricultural areas. The facility would have ground-mounted solar arrays about seven to 10 feet in height. Their plans would also identifies a 25-foot wide landscaped buffer along the frontages of Dublin Road and Biggs Ford Road.
Following the vote, Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer said the Council will be setting up a workshop on solar energy in the future, and invited the applicants to attend.
By Kevin McManus