In December, LUEP hosted a dialog among solar energy policy groups throughout the state. As many are now aware, the local government response to solar development has been “lumpy”, with a variety of approaches to siting and permitting. The December work group focused on possible revisions to guidance to localities, specifically model ordinances. The Rubin Group, VSEDA, industry partners, local government representatives, and the NC Clean Energy Center were invited (among others).
The interest in developing solar energy has increased dramatically across Virginia over the last few years. There are several questions a locality must address to full prepare for this emerging land use. Likewise, solar developers and other non-governmental stakeholders may not be fully aware of community planning policies and procedures, their intention, or the legal authorities and responsibilities embedded in the Code of Virginia.
Local land use planning requires a host of willing, engaged, and insightful participants all working towards a shared vision for their community. Local staff, planning commissioners, elected officials, and the citizens at large each have a unique role to play. Collectively their interactions embody the enterprise that is planning. Each community has a similar yet unique way of doing things. The mix of attitudes, beliefs, customs, written and unwritten rules develop over time to create a community’s “planning culture”.