Draft solar ordinance delayed by attorney’s absence


To the Editor:

The draft solar ordinance prepared by the Planning Commission, with much insightful discussion and revision over two meetings, was passed unanimously by the Commission.

I commend their hard work to get a great ordinance in place prior to the moratorium’s expiration later this month. The members worked hard to protect Page County.

The same cannot be said for the county’s attorney who was, it seems, out of town and could not review the document.

For some reason, that also resulted in a delay in scheduling the public hearing and publishing the related notice. I do not understand why the meeting could not be scheduled and advertised prior to final legal review.

I have often thought that the county attorney and some county staff have been more concerned with protecting industrial solar than in protecting the future of Page County, its agriculture, wells, and quality of life.

I am hopeful that the moratorium will be extended — if it is not, we can expect a deluge of applications for solar factories.

But I have to ask: whose interests are being supported? Why does the county rely on an attorney who may or may not be available? Why aren’t other members of his firm available if he is not? Further, the county needs legal representation with demonstrated focus and skills on land use and zoning. The county is ill served by the present arrangement and needs to investigate other options immediately.

Cathy Herbert ~ Luray, Va.


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  1. On Page County’s contract “County Attorney” bio for his law firm’s webpage, Mr. Helm’s practice areas are “personal injury, criminal defense, civil litigation and workers compensation.” Not sure why his advise is needed in order to hold a meeting or make decisions for that matter, he’s simply there to review things for pro forma compliance, that’s it…

  2. If he missed a meeting it could be that he had a prior commitment or the Planning Commission scheduled something at a time knowing he wouldn’t be there, just to put the brakes on its poor work.

  3. Cathy; Your view of the solar saga in Page County is spot on. The county administration has not made any effort to consider the views of our citizens since this effort began four years ago. Our administrators are doing too much legislating and too little administrating. Small town politics!

    • Thank you. And your columns on renewables are excellent. I wonder why so.e county officials, elected and hired, seem more eager to fulfill the wishes of Urban Grid than to protect the county and its residents. I believe that there are current efforts to sabotage the excellent work of the planning commission.

    • When all of the political energy is going into reducing emissions with little or nothing into replacing them with renewables. To close a coal plant all you have to do is flip a switch. Expensive renewable energy production is hard work.

  4. When solar power was ready to come to in Page County to produce enough power for 25,000 homes, a man named Paul Quigg made sure it didn’t happen. Renewable energy production is hard work when men like you are determined to stop it.

    You talk from both sides of your mouth. No one here knows what solution you suggest except “its hard”. Way to be a leader Paul.

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