HB655: Solar photovoltaic projects; special exceptions for any project.


VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- CHAPTER
An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15.2-2288.8, relating to special exceptions for solar photovoltaic projects.
[H 655]
Approved

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 15.2-2288.8 as follows:

§ 15.2-2288.8. Special exceptions for solar photovoltaic projects.

A. Any locality may grant a special exception pursuant to § 15.2-2286, and include in its zoning ordinance reasonable regulations and provisions for a special exception as defined in § 15.2-2201, for any solar photovoltaic (electric energy) project.

B. The governing body of such locality may grant a condition that includes (i) dedication of real property of substantial value or (ii) substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the granting of a conditional use permit, so long as such conditions are reasonably related to the project.

C. Once a condition is granted pursuant to subsection B, such condition shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property for which the conditions were granted. However, such conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.


HOUSE BILL NO. 655
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Senate Committee on Local Government
on February 17, 2020)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Heretick)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15.2-2288.8, relating to special exceptions for solar photovoltaic projects.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 15.2-2288.8 as follows:

§ 15.2-2288.8. Special exceptions for solar photovoltaic projects.

A. Any locality may grant a special exception pursuant to § 15.2-2286, and include in its zoning ordinance reasonable regulations and provisions for a special exception as defined in § 15.2-2201, for any solar photovoltaic (electric energy) project.

B. The governing body of such locality may grant a condition that includes (i) dedication of real property of substantial value or (ii) substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the granting of a conditional use permit, so long as such conditions are reasonably related to the project.

C. Once a condition is granted pursuant to subsection B, such condition shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property for which the conditions were granted. However, such conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.


HOUSE BILL NO. 655
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns
on January 31, 2020)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Heretick)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15.2-2303.5, relating to conditional zoning for solar photovoltaic projects.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 15.2-2303.5 as follows:

§ 15.2-2303.5. Conditional zoning for solar photovoltaic projects of more than five megawatts.

A. In addition to the process for granting a special exception pursuant to § 15.2-2286, a zoning ordinance may include reasonable regulations and provisions for conditional zoning as defined in § 15.2-2201 for solar photovoltaic (electric energy) projects of more than five megawatts, as measured in alternating current (AC) generation capacity.

B. The governing body of such locality may accept a proffered condition that includes (i) dedication of real property of substantial value or (ii) substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the granting of a conditional use permit or a rezoning itself, so long as such proffered conditions are reasonably related to the project.

C. Once proffered and accepted as part of an amendment to the zoning ordinance, any condition proffered pursuant to subsection B shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property for which the conditions were proffered. However, such conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.

HOUSE BILL NO. 655

Offered January 8, 2020
Prefiled January 6, 2020
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15.2-2303.5, relating to conditional zoning for solar photovoltaic projects.
Patron-- Heretick

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 15.2-2303.5 as follows:

§ 15.2-2303.5. Conditional zoning for solar photovoltaic projects of more than five megawatts.

A. A zoning ordinance may include reasonable regulations and provisions for conditional zoning as defined in § 15.2-2201 for solar photovoltaic (electric energy) projects of more than five megawatts, as measured in alternating current (AC) generation capacity, in any locality that has a planning commission.

B. The governing body of such locality may accept a proffered condition that includes (i) dedication of real property of substantial value or (ii) substantial cash payments for or construction of substantial public improvements, the need for which is not generated solely by the granting of a conditional use permit or a rezoning itself, so long as such proffered conditions are reasonably related to the project.

C. Once proffered and accepted as part of an amendment to the zoning ordinance, any condition proffered pursuant to subsection B shall continue in effect until a subsequent amendment changes the zoning on the property for which the conditions were proffered. However, such conditions shall continue if the subsequent amendment is part of a comprehensive implementation of a new or substantially revised zoning ordinance.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or impair the authority of a governing body to (i) accept proffered conditions that include provisions for timing or phasing of dedications, payments, or improvements; (ii) accept or impose valid conditions pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 15.2-2286, subdivision 5 of § 15.2-2242, or any other provision of law; (iii) accept cash payments to offset the impacts of a solar photovoltaic (electric energy) project; or (iv) enter into an agreement with an applicant or owner to voluntarily waive a portion of the taxpayer's exemption from the machinery and tools tax pursuant to § 58.1-3660.

E. A zoning ordinance may include reasonable regulations to implement, in whole or in part, the provisions of §§ 15.2-2296 through 15.2-2302, and shall otherwise be in compliance with §§ 15.2-2303 through 15.2-2303.4.