San Bernardino County, CA, July 26, 2013 – This week, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors unanimously extended the moratorium on commercial solar energy projects in rural communities, which affects unincorporated areas of the Big Bear Valley.
County Supervisors say they have made headway in the planning process of adding a renewable energy component to the General Plan, but that they need more time to define the development code to heighten certainty for solar industry.
In a press release, Supervisor James Ramos said, “Adding a renewable energy component to the County’s General Plan is crucial. The current plan is nearly silent on renewable energy and the development code permits solar projects to back up against residential areas in the unincorporated parts of the County. We need the next three to six months to properly plan for the impact these solar projects have on the rural communities of our county….Proper planning will provide protections for all.”
The protections promised include preventing financial investments into a project that could later be zoned against in the new codes, and safeguarding labor against litigation if a project is challenged.
First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood said solar projects already approved or with applications on file will not be affected by the extension. “I want to be clear, San Bernardino County welcomes renewable energy project applications,” Lovingood said. “This extension is a balanced approach that will enable the county to protect property owners and set fair ground rules that solar developers can live with.”