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Planners still considering solar regulations

The Gloucester Planning Commission is considering a suggestion that solar facilities continue to be a by-right use in the Rural Conservation (RC-1) district of the upper county.

At the commission’s June 1 meeting, members said that an application for a solar facility in the RC-1 district might be better treated as a by-right use, and not under a conditional use permit process as had been suggested by a commission member earlier this spring, senior planner Carol Rizzio said. The commission will continue to discuss the solar farm issue at its July 6 meeting, she said.

Solar facilities are considered in three categories: small (up to 25 kilowatts), large-scale (five acres or less) and utility-scale (over five acres). RC-1 encompasses much of the northwest section of Gloucester and is considered an agricultural zone, Rizzio said.

In April, the Gloucester Board of Supervisors approved a large solar farm off Route 14. That facility, which will be developed by Strata Solar, is on an ...

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