Four public hearings — two dealing with solar farm issues — are scheduled Tuesday evening when members of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission gather.
The joint meeting is planned for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.
• In the first public hearing, Staunton Solar is seeking a conditional use permit to erect a solar facility in Scottsburg. The property — located along Dryburg and MacDonald roads — is current owned by Robert Harris, Talley and Diane Cook, Ronald Reel, Francis and Gus Mitchel, and Bobby and Susan Stead, according to the meeting agenda.
About 355 acres of the total 583.5 acres is being eyed for the solar farm currently used as timber and forestry lands in what’s known as prime farmland.
The applicant has modified plans that would align with a tweak to the county’s solar ordinance, also up for a hearing later in the evening.
Two people spoke at a community meeting on the project in September. Concerns addressed then included wildlife impacts and construction.
There’s a $1.59 million decommission bond that’s recommend for the site, the total cost to dissemble and dispose of the solar facility and restore the site.
• Residents may weigh in via public hearing on a proposal for a rental businesses for small construction equipment and tools in Scottsburg.
Jason Forlines wants to use an existing agricultural building on property at 5097 James D. Hagood Highway for Jason Forlines Rentals.
The Virginia Department of Transpiration has confirmed to county officials the current entrance meets the requirements needed.
• Another public hearing will be held to make amendments to regulations for large-scale solar facilities.
Those amendments include increasing the setback distance from any public right-of-way from 75 feet to 150 feet and at least 100 feet from adjacent property lines.
In areas where no vegetation exists for screening, green privacy slats are recommended to be installed as fencing. The goal is to obscure view of the solar panels from property owners nearby.
• A final public hearing Tuesday evening will be for an ordinance amendment to add a definition for townhouses. It’ll allow for the townhouses in M-1 zoning districts with a conditional use permit.
Sheriff’s office bonuses
Members also will consider adopting a measure to give a bonus of $3,000 to all sworn employees of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office. Part of the money comes from the Virginia Compensation Board — $106,590 — and the rest is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The resolution states all sworn employees of the sheriff’s office should receive the same bonus. Supervisors are using federal coronavirus relief funds for workers who don’t fall under the state compensation board’s bonus plan.