In early 2023, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors charged the Planning Commission and staff from the Department of Planning and GIS Services to study and address large-scale solar energy systems as a land use in Montgomery County. The Board of Supervisors requested that the Planning Commission and staff work to draft language to amend the County's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance, and to seek community input on the draft language. Read the Board of Supervisor's resolution here.
A Solar Work Group, comprised of members of County staff, the Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors, began meeting in the Spring of 2023 to conduct research into how other jurisdictions have managed solar energy project applications. The Work Group also analyzed County data and maps to direct staff in the drafting of proposed amendments to the County's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. The Work Group's findings served as the basis for further review of the proposed amendments and were shared with the Planning Commission and the public in various forms, as detailed below.
Public Review of Documents
Draft language for the proposed documents were posted to this webpage and hard copies placed at the following locations:
- Montgomery County Government Center Information Desk (1st Floor) - 755 Roanoke Street, Christiansburg
- Montgomery County Planning and GIS Services Department - 755 Roanoke Street, Christiansburg, Suite 2A
- Blacksburg Library - 200 Miller Street, Blacksburg
- Christiansburg Library - 125 Sheltman Street, Christiansburg
- Meadowbrook Library - 267 Alleghany Spring Road, Shawsville
Community Open House Information
A Community Open House was held on Wednesday, August 9, from 3pm-6pm at the Government Center. Members of the public had an opportunity to view display boards highlighting the research conducted by the Solar Energy Work Group and the Group's draft recommendations to be presented to the Planning Commission. The presentation boards can be viewed here.
Before and during the Open House, the Solar Work Group and County staff received feedback from a number of stakeholders regarding the proposed amendments. That feedback can be viewed here.
Planning Commission Work Sessions
1st Work Session
The Planning Commission held its first work session to discuss the proposed amendments the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance on August 9. At that time, members of the Commission shared feedback with County staff and sought additional information from staff and the Work Group. No action was taken by the Commission as part of this work session. Materials shared at the Work Session can be found here.
2nd Work Session
The Commission held a second work session to discuss the proposed amendments on October 11. During the work session, staff presented a series of alternatives and recommendations on the proposed amendments. These recommendations took the work of the Solar Energy Work Group, feedback received from the Public Open House, comments received from the public, and other information gathered from the first Planning Commission Work Session. Materials shared at this Work Session can be found here.
Public Hearing Scheduled
Due to an advertising error, the Planning Commission rescheduled the public hearing originally planned for November 13, 2023. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on December 13 at 7:00 p.m. on the proposed amendments.
The Board of Supervisors will hold a work session following receipt of the Planning Commission's recommendation. A public hearing will also be scheduled by the Board of Supervisors to review the amendments at a later date.
You may view the draft Comprehensive Plan Language here
You may view the draft Zoning Ordinance Language here
Public Comment Still Being Accepted
Citizens, landowners, and members of the development community may still provide public input on the proposed documents by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing Planning and GIS Services, 755 Roanoke Street, Suite 2A, Christiansburg VA 24073