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Planned Lake Norman solar farm didn’t prove its case, commissioners say

North Carolina’s largest solar company failed to prove that its planned 36-acre solar farm near Lake Norman met Lincoln County’s land development rules, county commissioners say in response to a lawsuit filed against their decision to deny a permit for the project.

Calling the commissioners’ Dec. 16 vote to deny the permit for Strata Solar’s farm “arbitrary and capricious,” landowners Gary and Virginia Dellinger and Timothy Dellinger sued the commissioners in Lincoln County Superior Court in January. The Dellingers want a judge to reverse the vote and grant the permit for the farm on Webbs Road and Burton Lane in eastern Lincoln County.

In rejecting the permit, commissioners said the 26,000 solar panels wouldn’t be in harmony with Sailview and other nearby subdivisions.

In their Jan. 17 lawsuit, the Dellingers said Strata Solar did prove that its plans met the requirements of the county’s Unified Development Ordinance, which includes the county’s zoning and other land development rules.

Commissioners, in their Feb. 5 response to the lawsuit, say the Dellingers should be barred from objecting to the permit denial because the family didn’t participate in the public hearing before the vote or raise objections at the time of the vote.

The commissioners say their decision was neither arbitrary nor capricious, that the lawsuit should be dismissed and that the Dellingers should pay the county’s court costs.

As of Tuesday, no court date had been set for a judge to hear arguments in the case.

Marusak: 704-358-5067; Twitter: @jmarusak
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