LAURINBURG — Strata Solar’s appeal of a decision by the Laurinburg City Council to deny the company a solar farm permit is expected to be heard in Superior Court at the end of the week.
Due to scheduling issues, the Chapel Hill energy company’s appeal, originally scheduled for Sept. 30 at the Scotland County courthouse, was pushed back. According to city attorney William Floyd, a date has not been set for the rescheduled hearing, but it could be conducted as early as Friday.
Strata Solar first approached the city in February with a request to construct a solar farm off of Johns Road, within the two-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city. The city’s planning board voted to recommend denial of the permit on March 12.
In April, the city council conducted a mandatory quasi-judicial hearing and voted to deny the permit 4-1, saying it would “not be in harmony” with its surroundings and would negatively affect property values.
Supporting Strata Solar’s position at the April hearing were several testimonials from an independent appraiser and alternative industry professionals. That testimony was met by the complaints of nearly a dozen locals, all of whom said that the farm would be an eyesore, as well as a local real estate agent who voiced concerns regarding the farm’s impact on the value of neighboring property.