Bulloch County Commissioners will decide Sept. 6 whether owners of six Bulloch County properties will be allowed to use their land for solar farms.
The landowners applied for conditional use requests that were heard last week by the Bulloch County Planning & Zoning Board, said Planning and Zoning Director Randy Newman.
The land owners, Annette Parrish Goodrich; Ben Grayson Ellis; Connie Mathis; Dale Vickery; Terrell Parrish and John and Edna Strickland, all hope to strike deals with Paradigm Solar, represented by former Bulloch County resident Linda Strickland Tillinger, who told the Statesboro Herald the solar farms would have no negative impact on the environment and would be quiet and unobtrusive.
A conditional use request from Vickery regarding a Rocky Ford road parcel met with a condition that he construct a 100-foot buffer on all sides, “consisting of evergreen plantings that possess growth characteristics of such a nature as to produce a dense, compact, planting screen with an opacity of 60 percent, and is capable of growing a height of at least eight feet within two years and shall be maintained,” according to documents provided to the Herald by Newman.
The same mandated conditions were issued for John and Edna Strickland, who wish to obtain conditional use status for a parcel on Strickland Road; Terrell Parrish, seeking conditional use for land at Parrish Circle and Lawrence Church Road; and Annette Parrish Goodrich, who seeks conditional use for property located on Jim Fitch Road.
Ben Grayson Ellis sought a conditional-use request for property on Middleground Road/Hwy. 80 West for a similar facility. Conditions mandated for his request include a 300-foot landscape buffer, adjoining property owned by Hugh S. Marsh, et al, and a buffer of 100 feet on all other sides, meeting requirements similar to those asked of Goodrich, Newman said.
Mandates suggested for Mathis, who asked for a conditional use request for property on Williams Road/Hwy. 80 West, included a 300-foot buffer on all sides, with a “chain link or pressure treated lumber” fence at a minimum of 8 feet tall, regularly maintained. A driveway design and construction must also be approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation, with no access from Williams Road, he said.
Tillinger said the proposed solar farm sites would benefit many who could save money by obtaining electricity through companies using solar power. She did not say which power companies might work with her, but suggested it could be “others than Georgia Power.”
An existing solar farm on Hwy. 80 in Hopeulikit is not affiliated with Paradigm Solar, she said.
All six requests will be considered by the Bulloch County Commission Sept. 6, at a meeting at 5:30 p/.m. in the Bulloch County Annex.
Herald reporter Holli Del Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.