Fisher panel to consider solar farm amendment

FISHER — The Fisher Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the community center to discuss a requested amendment to the village zoning ordinance to include solar farms as a special use within agricultural districts.

Last month, the village was approached by representatives of Novel Energy Solutions, a company that has an interest in constructing a community solar garden on about 20 acres of farmland owned by Eric Stalter south of Green Street and east of the grade school.

As the ordinance is currently written, there is no provision for a solar farm as a permitted or special use within the agriculture zoning district. The only other option available would be to change the property zoning classification to industrial, which the village board indicated is not a viable option as it would be highly incompatible with the surrounding residential districts.

To enable the project to move forward, two actions will be required — the amended ordinance must be approved, and Stalter will need to request a special use permit.

That would be considered at a future meeting and subject to any conditions that the village deems appropriate.

The meeting will focus on whether to generally allow solar farms as a special-use category in agricultural zoning. If that is approved then the commission and the village board will focus on the actual proposed project once a request for a special use permit is received.

The regular monthly village board meeting will directly follow the commission meeting.

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