To the Editor:
When the Cape Solar project died some time ago, I — like everyone else — thought it was permanently dead. We hoped Page County would make good use of the $50,000 spent to come up with a solar plan and that we would see responsible solar development.
But the Cape project is back, and it is bigger than Godzilla. At 400-plus acres, it will occupy more land than Downtown Luray. Between 300 and 400 football fields could fit within its boundaries.
Plans are for it to occupy a miles-long stretch of land running lengthwise through the narrow Page Valley. Do you own land in the foothills of the Massanutten or Blue Ridge? There goes your view. Ditto if you drive on Skyline Drive. Most of the people who live between Luray and Springfield will have to look out on this eyesore every day, if the supervisors go against the often-stated will of the voters and approve this monster.
Beyond this, the county needs to think about the experience of Mt. Jackson, which approved a 500-plus acre solar farm, to be implemented in stages. At present, a 38-acre section is occupied by solar. The planning commission turned down an approval for an additional 128 acres. Public complaints cited the fact that the plants do not fit into the town’s comprehensive plan to ” preserve and enhance its natural beauty and cultural heritage and promote environmental responsibility.”
And there’s the frank disregard (and disrespect) shown by the applicant to the people who live in Page County. The current proposal is largely a cut and paste job recycling the one that was turned down in 2018, with lots of unaddressed questions and concerns. Guess they thought no one would notice and they could just ram it through. Luckily, we have a strong Planning Commission this time around and members are asking smart questions.
But what about the Supervisors? Will they have a backbone this time and put the final nail in the coffin of this massive project? I would like to think so — but I have to ask why they let it come to life again?
The only way to ensure that this project goes to the monster graveyard is to show up and sound off. I urge everyone to show up for the next Planning Commission meeting on March 8 and voice your opposition to this misguided project, which has already been rejected once.
Solar is wonderful and important, but it has no place in a narrow valley, whose future depends on preserving its natural beauty.
Cathy Herbert ~ Luray, Va.
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