Zoning Text Amendment Outreach Booklet

The Carroll County Community Solar Zoning Text Amendment booklet defines community solar, describes the requirements of the amendment, shares intentions for certain requirements, reviews the adoption process, directs the reader to resources for more information, and more. 

Carroll County Community Solar Zoning Text Amendment Outreach Booklet (2021)

Eligible Properties in Carroll County

CSEGSs are permitted on remaining portions of five acres or greater in size in the Agricultural District that existed as of July 1, 2020 (recorded plat). In the Agricultural District, remaining portions are the land remaining after residential subdivision lots have been created from a legally established parcel of land through the subdivision process.  [Carroll County Zoning §158.002 and Development and Subdivision of Land §155.091]  The map below is provided for guidance purposes only and shows where the eligible remaining portions may be located.  Remaining portion status must be verified prior to submitting a site plan.

Map of Potentially Eligible Properties (as of November 2021)

Permanent Conservation Easement

A permanent conservation easement is required on the rest of the property not developed for community solar facilities and associated infrastructure.  Click on the draft sample conservation easement template for information on what the easement agreement is likely to include.  This is just a sample.  Each actual, individual easement will be prepared by the county staff following site plan approval by the Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission.  

Community Solar Sample Conservation Easement Template

Factors That Affect Suitability

Just because a parcel is eligible does not mean it is suitable for CSEGS development. There are many other factors that affect suitability.  Generally, the solar developer will assess a property and the ability or capacity of the distribution lines (based on coordination with the utility company) to determine if a property is a good fit based on these factors.  Some of these factors include (but are not limited to):

  • Proximity to three-phase distribution lines,
  • Capacity of the distribution lines,
  • Site constraints, such as slopes, sun exposure, natural resources, etc.,
  • Cost,
  • Maryland Public Service Commission approval, and
  • Utility company approval.

State policy also impacts the extent of solar development that may occur.  Some of these policies (as of May 2021) include:

  • A solar project cannot adjoin another solar project or cross parcel lines;
  • A parcel cannot be subdivided to build solar if it has been subdivided within the past five years; and

The maximum capacity of a community solar project is two (2) Megawatts.