HENRY COUNTY, VA – The Henry County Board of Supervisors approved a cap on solar panels in the county on Tuesday.
The amendment to the county’s zoning ordinance limits the total acreage permitted for solar farm development to one percent of the total land mass of the county.
It passed 5-1 with Iriswood Supervisor Garrett Dillard being the opposing vote.
The county has about 382 square miles of land mass and the cap will limit the total acreage allowed for solar coverage to 2,445 acres.
According to a county news release, there are currently 10 approved solar projects that span about 1,807 acres.
Only one of those projects has been completed and is generating electricity and another is currently under construction.
Before the vote on the change, the board amended its comprehensive plan to incorporate the long-range vision for renewable energy in the county.
The cap would be in addition to existing restrictions on solar development such as the 2.5 percent density requirement.
In other matters, the board:
Approved a resolution dissolving the Southern Virginia Recreation Facilities Authority and directed state to take steps necessary to make the facility part of the county’s Parks & Recreation Department
Approved an additional appropriation of $250,000 received from the Harvest Foundation to assist with costs associated with transitioning the Smith River Sports Complex to the county’s operations
Approved an additional appropriation of $28,237,705 received through grants from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Site Readiness Program and the Harvest Foundation to assist with site work on Lot #2 at Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre
Approved a resolution recognizing the public service of county resident and Martinsville City Manager Leon Towarnicki who will be retiring after 41 years of service to the community
Approved a resolution recognizing the public service of Hilda Mabry, who has served in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for 34 years and will be retiring at the end of the month
Received an update from Piedmont Community Services on the agency’s operations and the new mobile unit the agency will used to expand services
Approved an additional appropriation of $10,000 to provide matching funds for a grant received from the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority to study and identify community-based options for the most effective long-term use of funds for abatement
Approved an additional appropriation of $240,000 to cover overages related to the Children’s Services Act Program
Approved an additional appropriation of $95,000 received through a grant from the Harvest Foundation and awarded a contract to the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Partnership for Economic Growth to conduct an economic impact study related to the Martinsville Southern Connector route
Approved an additional appropriation of $50,000 received through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to assess specific community needs related to housing and related infrastructure
Approved an additional appropriation of $10,000 received through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to execute the United Way Individual Development Accounts Planning Grant which will provide for free training to residents on topics related to financial management
Awarded a contract to Fidelity Power Systems in the amount of $235,710 for the relocation of the generator providing power to the 911 Center from the former jail to behind the administration building
Approved an additional appropriation of $55,423 received from the Virginia Department of Health’s Return to Locality Funds
Approved an additional appropriation of $15,000 from State Asset Forfeiture funds to cover travel-related expenses for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
Approved a resolution to update the signature authority for the Adult Detention Center inmate fund
Approved an additional appropriation of $7,200 from State Asset Forfeiture funds to cover the cost of sending two investigators from the Sheriff’s Office to Cellebrite certification training
Approved an additional appropriation of $219,679 from the Virginia Department of Education to provide additional revenue to Henry County Public Schools as the result of recalculations performed by the state using the actual average daily membership totals for all school divisions
Approved an amendment to the Henry County Public School’s fiscal year 2024 operating budget totaling $1,666,062 to reflect an estimated reduction in state funds
Approved commitment statements from the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District for improvements to the Leatherwood # 2A and #3 dams
Conducted a public hearing and approved a request to rezone approximately 2.36 acres of the Reed Creek District from Suburban Residential District to Commercial District. The applicant wishes to locate a commercial landscaping sales establishment on the property
Appointed Donata Worrell to the Blue Ridge Regional Library Board to a four-year term scheduled to end on June 30, 2027
Appointed Jonathan Martin to the Community Policy and Management Team to a two-year term scheduled to end on June 30, 2025
Reappointed Michael Ward to the Roanoke River Basin Association for a one year term scheduled to end on June 30, 2024.