Pembroke OKs solar farm rules

First Posted: 11/4/2013

PEMBROKE — The Pembroke Town Council on Monday in a 2 to 1 vote adopted an ordinance that will govern a solar farm that is being built in the town.

The ordinance, which was outlined by Town Attorney Gary Locklear, includes provisions to keep the solar farm at a 50-foot setback distance from the state road right-of-way as well as any property lines. The distances were recommended by the town’s Planning Board.

The ordinance also includes provisions for maintaining the solar farm’s appearance so that it will not become an eyesore.

Allen Dial voted against the ordinance, saying that the setback requirement was too great, while council members Ryan Sampson and Larry Brooks voted in favor.

The council also approved a request from Holland Consulting Planners Inc. for a one-time $5,000 increase to the company’s current contract for managing the Locklear Court Life Station project.

Dale Holland told the council that delays have pushed the project’s estimated date of completion back by four months.

“When you stretch a job out and it takes longer to complete, people need to get paid,” Mayor Milton Hunt said.

Monday’s meeting could be the last for Councilman Larry Brooks, who decided not to seek re-election after serving on Pembroke Council for 37 years. The municipal elections are being held today and new members will be sworn in before the December meeting.

Hunt presented Brooks with a plaque and read a resolution expressing gratitude for his contributions to the town.

“[Brooks] has served honorably and reliably with distinction,” Hunt said. “Through his service he has made the town of Pembroke a better place to live and work.”

Brooks made a joke about his departure.

“When I first came here I was 31 years old and had a full head of hair,” he said. “The pleasure has been all mine … . We’re always going to need new leadership to pass the torch to.”

In other business, the Town Council approved the reappointment of James Hardin to the Pembroke Tourism Board and approved the appointment of James Chavis, who will replace Bryan Graham as chairman on that board.

Public hearings were held to consider possible amendments to the town’s Unified Development Ordinance and to consider the town’s intent to apply for Community Development Block Grant funding, but no one spoke.