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Editorial: County right to take time on solar rules

The Columbus Republic Editorial board weighed in on theo county's solar ordinance process saying:

" date, we’ve seen no reason the county should not welcome Swallowtail while also adopting reasonable solar farm land-use regulations. Developers have signaled every intention to be responsible stewards. They have pledged to develop site plans for a solar array that could provide clean, renewable energy powering some 30,000 homes for 30 years.

They intend to plant groundcover and restore the land to its original state when the farm is decommissioned somewhere around the year 2055. They have pledged to incorporate the county’s largest pollinator garden. All of which, they say, will result in 340 jobs during construction, add $38 million to Bartholomew County’s economy, and generate $40 million in tax revenue over 30 years.

Love solar panels or hate them, it’s difficult to argue that solar is not a necessary and growing piece of the energy puzzle in the 21st century. It’s even harder to argue that local government should deprive property owners of the right to use their land to harvest clean, renewable electricity from the sun. That would set a terrible and perhaps indefensible precedent for this county. Indiana courts take an exceptionally dim view of regulations that unreasonably limit property rights.

Viewed in this light, we prefer to keep on the sunny side of the solar issue."


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