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Salem Planning Commission to hold public hearing on proposed changes following rejection of Solar Farm

Salem Planning Commission to hold public hearing on proposed changes following rejection of Solar Farm

Changes proposed by the Salem City Council after the planning commission rejected a solar farm will come up for public hearing Tuesday night.

The planning commission will consider two changes. One would take the final decision on special and temporary uses away from the planning commission and give it to the Salem City Council. Right now those who are rejected by the planning commission can only appeal to the courts.

The other proposal would automatically allow commercial/large scale solar farms as a permitted use in non-urban zones in the mile and a half zone around the city limits instead of requiring a special use permit.

The Salem City Council had suggested the changes after the planning commission turned down a solar farm near the Kell and College Street intersection based on neighborhood complaints. The council noted the large amount of tax dollars that would be lost as a result of rejecting the solar farm application.

The developers have since filed suit against the planning commission claiming that the decision was improper.

The public hearing begins at six Tuesday night at the Salem Community Theatre and Cultural Center.