NJ’s Franklin Township public officials are grappling with a proposed 20-megawatt solar-power “farm” on nearly 100 acres of privately held property currently zoned as farmland.
New Jersey’s Farmland Assessment Act grants property owners lower tax assessments for farming or otherwise productively using their land. The law allows for up to 10 acres to be covered with solar panels.
Since this proposal is for 10 times that limit, the owner would necessarily relinquish the farmland assessment to get into a new kind of farming.
Is this a good move for the township?
What are the risks and benefits of losing 100 acres of open space relative to this project’s clean energy generation potential?
Will the land owner be permitted to build this project?
Stay tuned for the discussions this project will raise around land use, renewable energy, and private property rights in NJ, the Crowded State.
Public hearings are scheduled for late March.