Carroll County Wrestles With Solar Farms on Ag Land

A July 15 Carroll County Times article reported that Carroll County is considering an ordinance that would allow solar farms on agricultural land.  However, the County is concerned about the solar facilities replacing traditional agricultural crop production.

But, the county’s agriculture community expressed concern about allowing large-scale [solar] facilities on farming land, so the county has taken agricultural zoning districts out of the ordinance. The fear is that farmers would stop planting crops and instead cover their land with solar panels, according to Phil Hager, director of the county’s Department of Land Use, Planning and Development.

“There were those that had concerns that they weren’t sure what the legislation would mean so they wanted more time to study it,” Hager said. “Another concern was that these types of uses would, conceivably, compete with traditional agricultural to such an extent that they actually threaten agriculture.”  …

Hager said the county is forming a committee to look into what effects, if any, allowing large-scale facilities in the agricultural zoning district would have on local farming and the county’s rural nature.

The article also noted that the Maryland Farm Bureau will be discussing “solar farming” at its December convention.