The Alachua Board of County Commissioners voted to deny the application for a special exception to allow a major utility project to build in Archer.
Archer Solar Project LLC applied for a special permit to set up 230,000 solar panels on 650 acres on the northeast corner of SW 170th Street and SW 95th Avenue.
The special meeting started at 5 p.m. and lasted past midnight after dozens of comments and hours of presentations. Commissioner Mike Byerly moved to grant the application but the motion wasn’t seconded.
Commissioner Charles Chestnut then moved to deny the application stating that there are other places in the county to build a power plant that isn’t adjacent to an historical African American community.
Commissioner Marihelen Wheeler seconded the motion and agreed with Chestnut. “It’s not like this is the only site in this area for solar,” she said.
Wheeler said the solar facility is “not in line with what the (Archer) commissioners want which is preservation and strengthening.”
Commissioner Ken Cornell listed seven reasons why he voted to deny the application closing with, “It’s the right project in the wrong place.”
The motion to deny passed 3 to 2 with Commissioners Chestnut, Wheeler and Cornell voting to deny the application and Byerly and Hutchinson dissenting.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated later today.