A hearing on appeals to a proposed solar farm project has been rescheduled because of a glitch in advertising the original hearing date.
The Pasco County Commission, with the approval of all parties involved in the matter, agreed to continue the appeal until Sept. 4 at 1:30 p.m.
The original appeal had been set for Aug. 7.
The appeal will be heard in the commissioners’ meeting room in Dade City.
Two appeals were filed after the Pasco County Planning Commission approved a special exception permit for the solar farm in April.
One came from Gordon and Kathleen Comer; the other from Sandra Noble. Noble and the Comers live near the proposed project site, off Blanton Road, outside Dade City.
First Solar Electric, which has a contract with Tampa Electric Company (TECO), wants to install about 460,000 photovoltaic solar panels on about 350 acres, on both sides of Blanton Road. The solar farm, known as the Mountain View Solar Project, would produce on average of about 53 megawatts of power, which would be fed to TECO’s power grid.
The project has been controversial, and drew large, impassioned crowds to previous hearings.
Area neighbors say the project will destroy one of the county’s best assets – its scenic views. They also differ with how county officials have interpreted Pasco’s development regulations, and say that the solar farm is a power plant that should be placed in an industrial district.
County officials say the solar farm doesn’t fit the legal definition of a power plant, but it is suitable in some agriculturally zoned areas, with a special exception permit. They also say Pasco’s regulations are in line with how other counties approve solar farms.
Published August 15, 2018