Archer residents fight back against proposed solar farm with petition
March 12, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Some Archer residents have launched a petition as part of their fight against a proposed solar farm in their community, arguing that community members will receive no benefit from the new facility that could “destroy the landscape and property values… for generations to come.” The petition has currently attracted 1,015 signatures.
Several residents spoke out against a special zoning exception for the solar farm at the March 5 Gainesville City Commission meeting. One caller, for example, said that Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) could have put the solar panels on their own land at Deerhaven “but instead elected to stick it way out to adjoin a black community in Archer.” Several callers specifically asked Commissioners Gail Johnson and Gigi Simmons, who are both running for re-election, to state where they stand on the issue.
GRU has signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Origis to build and operate the solar farm, so GRU and the Gainesville City Commission are currently taking the position that the siting of the project is out of their hands. The decision about the special zoning exception will be made by the Alachua County Commission.
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