It will now be harder for solar farms to locate certain residential areas in Selma. Following concerns about an influx of solar farms being located in residential zoning districts, the Selma Town Council voted unanimously on August 11th to prohibit any additional solar farms from locating in the R-20 zoning districts.
According to Julie Maybee, Selma’s Planning and Economic Development Director, 16,855 acres of land in the city limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction are zoned R-20, representing over half of all the land zoned by the Town.
Officials said they are concerned solar farms, which are leased from landowners for 25 or more years are being located in the same areas where residential growth is likely to occur.
In the last five months, five special use permit applications were approved for solar farms in the residential R-20 district. They will no longer be allowed in that district, however they could be allowed in other zoning districts, including industrial zoned areas.
The decision to limit the location of solar farms was initially requested by the Selma Planning Board.