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Mesa County Commission Responds To Solar Development Letter

On March 29, 2024, The Palisade Post published an open letter from concerned Mesa County citizens regarding solar power development in Mesa County.

The Mesa County Commission has responded with the following statement:

As part of an ongoing commitment to creating a balanced and thoughtful approach to solar energy development through amendments to the Mesa County 2020 Land Development Code, Mesa County Commissioners are inviting residents to continue participating and following the discussion on the future of solar energy. 

The conversation around solar energy development took a formal turn on January 9, 2024, when the Board of County Commissioners enacted a temporary moratorium on accepting and processing new commercial solar farm applications. This pause is designed to allow Mesa County to carefully consider how solar development can best serve the community’s interests.

Following the moratorium, Mesa County Planning staff thoroughly reviewed the proposed amendments to the Mesa County 2020 Land Development Code, focusing specifically on solar energy projects. This process involved review and public engagement stages, including presentations to the Mesa County Code Focus Group, the Planning Commission Workshop, and a public open house with several sessions. Each of these events provided forums for community members and industry stakeholders to offer their insights and feedback.

On March 21, 2024, the Planning staff presented their findings and the proposed code amendments for consideration by the Mesa County Planning Commission, which voted 6-1 in favor of recommending the changes to the Board of County Commissioners. This recommendation set the stage for a final decision to be made at a public hearing scheduled for April 23, 2024.

Mesa County recognizes the importance of community involvement in shaping the policies that guide solar energy development:

  • Residents are encouraged to review the PRO2024-0022 TXT Land Amendment Code binder (click on the April 23 binder, then go to page 37) and share their input by email at mcbocc@mesacounty.us
  • Residents can also listen to the upcoming Joint County Commissioners and Planning Commission Workshop discussion on April 11 at 5:45 p.m. via Google Meet at https://meet.google.com/uod-sxnv-ghw
  • There is also an opportunity to share input during the Commissioners’ Public Hearing on April 23, where they will consider adopting the amendments. 

The temporary moratorium on new solar developments reflects Mesa County’s dedication to creating a thoughtful approach to solar energy. By inviting community input and carefully considering potential impacts, Mesa County aims to establish a framework that fosters positive growth in the solar sector and aligns with the broader vision of the Land Development Code.

Residents are urged to mark their calendars and participate in the discussions shaping Mesa County’s solar energy future. Whether attending public meetings, listening to live discussions, or providing written feedback, your involvement is crucial to ensuring that our community’s approach to solar development reflects our collective values.