Carroll County Times

Community solar work group will study and propose changes to Carroll ordinance

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The director of Carroll County’s Department of Land and Resource Management said county staff is “actively working” on putting together a work group to study and recommend wording for a new community solar ordinance.

Christopher Heyn said members of the work group should be finalized by early next week.


Heyn said staff is taking guidance on the work group’s makeup from the Board of Carroll County Commissioners.


The group will include:

  • Two representatives from the agricultural community who are not involved in any of the proposed solar facilities.
  • Two property owners who are adjacent to proposed community solar facilities.
  • One property owner who is proposing to have community solar on their property.
  • One representative from the solar industry.

“We believe that this will provide us with a good cross-section of opinions, and look forward to getting meetings started,” Heyn said.

In 2021, commissioners adopted a Community Solar Zoning Text Amendment to the county’s solar code that allowed solar energy farms on portions of land zoned for agriculture. According to current code, solar panels can only be placed on 20 acres of those parcels. After the solar panels are constructed, the remaining property goes into a permanent conservation district to prevent expansion of the solar facility.

On March 23, commissioners said they want to scrap the text amendment and “start from scratch.”

Commissioners’ President Ed Rothstein, who represents District 5, said on March 23 he wants the work group picked “methodically and deliberately in order to get the right folks on the team.”

Work group formation is the next step in the process after a March 9 vote when commissioners unanimously approved a six-month moratorium on reviewing, processing and permitting community solar facilities on property zoned for agriculture.

Once the work group is formed, Heyn said his staff will meet with the group and document all opinions. The work group will not vote on any recommendations, but will forward them to commissioners.

After commissioners discuss the recommendations, a proposal will be sent to the Carroll County Planning & Zoning Commission for its review and recommendations.


Its recommendations will go back to the commissioners, who will hold a public hearing. Commissioners will have further discussion and then adopt.

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