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St. James officials will take close look at solar farms costs, benefits, but defer vote on halt for now | News – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2022-07-06 23:30:00 –

A majority of the St. James Parish Council agreed to investigate the economic and environmental impact of the new solar farm on Wednesday night, but while the analysis was being conducted, the parish president and some councils We have slightly postponed the bid from members of the society to temporarily suspend these projects.

President Parish Pete Duflesne proposes a solar farm moratorium after hedge fund DE Shaw Renewable Investments has failed in recent months trying to approve a 3,900-acre solar farm in the residential Vacherie district of western St. James. did.

Parish officials say they want time to develop ordinances to regulate commercial solar farms and understand the long-term implications of replacing valuable farmland along the Mississippi River with low-working solar businesses. I did.

However, members of the council, from land-use attorney Victor Frankiewitz Jr., have the authority to adopt a moratorium, but without a moratorium a new solar project under existing land-use rules. I heard that you have the discretion to approve or reject.

Franckiewicz said the moratorium only helped stop the start of the initial application process. Dufresne later said he wanted a solution to the moratorium, so potential solar developers knew they wouldn’t start the process while the analysis of the solar farm was in progress.

The parish planning committee unanimously rejected the DE Show’s solar farm project on May 23, in the face of public opposition. After the first wave of construction workers finished their work, they would have produced six permanent jobs outside of some mowing and other conservatives, supporters say. I did. The farm also offers some short-term sales tax increases and long-term property tax dollars.

According to the company’s spokesman, the proposed farm was noted by Entergy Louisiana to reach the utility’s renewable energy goals, but the project was in the south along the river, further inland, in La 20. It would have consumed farmland in residential areas to the west and north and south. La. Of 3127.

The area is still thriving with sugar cane and other agriculture, but near a relatively new parish high school that replaced an old West Bank school that moved a few years ago to give way to the YCI Methanol One factory in the St. James area. There is also.

Dufresne and other parish officials see the Vacherie region as a major zone for future new housing development, La. Pay attention to 3127 / La. New road expansions and bypasses are planned in 20 areas that may accelerate residential and commercial development.

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In rejecting the Moratorium, the council also passed a duel resolution developed by Frankie Witz.

These considerations include the impact of new solar farms on work and the comparison of jobs from existing sugar cane farms, whether solar farms will undermine more profitable land use in the future, and the impact on solar farm infrastructure. included.

The council voted 3-2 to submit the Moratorium resolution. Council members Clyde Cooper, Donald Nash, and Fondra Etienne Steib voted in favor of the postponement of the moratorium, while councilors Jason Amato and Ryan Luke voted against the moratorium tabling. rice field. Councilors Alvin “Shark” St. Pierre and Mason Bland were absent.

Cooper said he opposed this measure because the council already had the discretion to approve or reject solar projects, but Etienne Steib said other previously proposed moratoriums. He said he was trying to align with past council decisions not to support.

She said the council may forget what it did in the past, but people don’t.

After delaying action in the Moratorium, the council voted 4-1 to support Duflesne’s speech with the parish’s third-party planning agency on solar farm research. Only Nash objected.

Prior to the vote, Tripp Roy, development director of DEShaw, also known as DESRI, requested the council to postpone the moratorium, a rational ordinance as his company did in the parish of Tangipahoa and Washington. Promised to work with members to develop.

He said one solution was La for new commercial development. Suggested that it might be possible to create a wide buffer along with 3127.

St. James officials will take close look at solar farms costs, benefits, but defer vote on halt for now | News Source link St. James officials will take close look at solar farms costs, benefits, but defer vote on halt for now | News

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