County Planning Commission Rejects Solar Field Proposal In Oak Hills

SAN BERNARDINO—The San Bernardino County Planning Commission has denied Sycamore Physicians Partners’ application for a permit to construct a solar energy project in Oak Hills.
Sycamore Physicians Partners’ application had been filed with the county prior to the county’s imposition of a yet-to-expire moratorium on the consideration and approval of solar projects earlier this year.
Sycamore had asked the county land use services division to certify a 2.7-megawatt photovoltaic solar facility on 20 acres in the unincorporated county area south and west of Hesperia in a rural living land use district on the northeast corner of Fuente Avenue and El Centro Road.
County staff, however, acceding to widespread objections by homeowners in rural desert communities throughout the county who maintain that solar fields are a too-intensive use that is incompatible with nearby residential neighborhoods, recommended that Sycamore’s application for the conditional use permit be denied. According to the staff report, the project would have a “significant impact on the environment, specifically with regard to scenic resources.” According to county planning director Terri Rahhal, at a previous public hearing on August 8 there was considerable public opposition to the project and “expressed concerns about land use compatibility, given the location of the project site in an area surrounded by rural residential uses.”
Rahhal said the planning commission made a tentative finding at that time that the proposed project “would not be compatible with the rural character of the Oak Hills community and would therefore not be consistent with the Oak Hills Community Plan.”

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