ANDERSON — In a unanimous vote, members of the Madison County Planning Commission agreed to make a recommendation that a six-month moratorium be placed on any new large-scale solar developments.

“We certainly need to take a good look at our ordinances and potentially make changes to them, which is the reason for the moratorium,” said Brad Newman, planning director.

Newman said the planning commission met during a special meeting on Thursday to vote on the proposed recommendation. Members Wes Likens, Mark Gary, Tom Shepherd, Beth Vansickle, John Simmermon, David Kane and Cory Bohlander approved the recommendation.

Members Kelly Gaskill and Lisa Hobbs were not present on Thursday.

If the recommendation is approved by the Madison County Commissioners, Newman said no petitions for solar projects larger than 50 acres will be accepted for six months.

“The board of commissioners can make changes to that,” Newman said. “This is simply what the planning commission has recommended to the board of commissioners.”

A moratorium would only be effective in unincorporated areas of Madison County and would not have an impact in Anderson, Elwood, Alexandria and Pendleton.

Newman said the recommendation follows the approval of the Lone Oak Solar Farm which is approximately 850 acres. Newman said the new solar farm comes very close to homes, surrounding a number of homes on three sides and at least one home that is surrounded on all four sides.

Anyone who missed the meeting and wants to comment on the proposed recommendation can contact the commissioners ahead of the next meeting or attend the meeting at 7 p.m. July 8 in the Commissioner's Court located at the Madison County Government Center, 16 East Ninth St., in Anderson, Newman said. [emphasis added]