As a petition against Inyo’s solar designation areas continues to gain signatures and public determination grows, the Inyo Supervisors agreed to delay their vote on the Planning Department’s proposal to establish 14 areas for large-scale solar or wind development.
Last month, almost half of more than 70 citizens in attendance stood up against the proposal at a Planning Commission meeting. Some grew so angry, Commissioners considered calling security. They did vote 4 to 1 to accept the proposal and send it to the Supervisors. At Tuesday’s Board meeting, Planning Director Josh Hart. who was also battered by citizens, stood up to say his Department now has a Frequently Asked Questions sheet on this hot topic. It will go on the Planning Department website at inyoplanning.org.
Hart said this information would “set the record straight.” Hart said the General Plan is the County’s “Constitution.” He said there is a renewable energy part that needs an update since Inyo “expects to see considerable demand.” He described a planning process which led to the designation of renewable energy development areas. He said the 14 areas are “less than a half of a percent of Inyo land.”
Hart said his Department did “extensive public outreach” and that the process is very preliminary and in an early phase. He then suggested that the Supervisors delay their consideration of the renewable energy proposal until April 1st and instead hold a workshop next Tuesday to explain more about the plan.
Board Chairman Rick Pucci said he has heard from citizens who do want more time. Supervisors Linda Arcularius and Matt Kingsley commended the Planning Commission and Planning Department for “doing their best.” Kingsley said attacks on planning officials are “counter productive.” More next Tuesday.