NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County is trying to write new rules on where the next private solar energy farm can go.
Critics, however, note the county hasn’t yet decided if the first one can locate as proposed.
The dispute centers on an April 9 Pasco Planning Commission decision granting permission, known as a special exception, to Tampa Electric Co. to build a 55-megawatt solar electrical system on 350 acres in Blanton. Neighbors are appealing that ruling to the county commission.
Simultaneously, Pasco is proposing to amend its land development code to designate the zoning districts where solar farms can be located.
The action is needed, the county said, because existing zoning rules do not mention solar plants. That meant the Tampa Electric application for its Mountain View Solar project relied on a county staff statement that such solar farms are allowable in agricultural areas with a special exception permit. [click for full article]