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AV Council to discuss renewable energy collaboration

APPLE VALLEY • The Town Council on Tuesday night will discuss a collaborative effort with other municipalities to deal with future renewable energy projects.

“I want to begin the process of inviting all neighboring communities, San Bernardino County and Southern California Edison to meet regionally, as we begin fruitful conversation over solar and wind energy projects,” Councilwoman Barb Stanton said.

As the 2020 California energy mandate calls for communities to receive 33- percent of all utilities via clean energy, the High Desert may be targeted as a dumping ground by various groups for their energy projects, Stanton said

“We have to move forward to protect our citizens,” Stanton said. “We need to formulate a plan of action before we get hit from all sides with projects.”

Stanton said First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood and Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales, have been receptive to meeting in the High Desert for a regional meeting.

“I embrace the industry, but I want to make sure we do it right,” Stanton said.

Over the past three years, the Town of Apple Valley has approved two solar projects, one on the northwest corner of Otoe and Navajo roads, and the southwest corner of South and Navajo roads. Neither has been built yet.

In September 2011, solar-farm applications began to pick up when the town’s development code amendment was adopted , which allowed the farms to operate in more areas, town spokeswoman Kathie Martin in July,

The town believes that photovoltaic-associated projects may lead to new industrial development with the North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan, which could generate jobs.

Another solar project was recently completed outside the town’s border at the northeast corner of Esaws and Joshua roads, over opposition from neighbors.

Also at the meeting, the council will also discuss an ordinance, which would amend a current development code, to comply with state and federal fair housing laws.

Over the years, the town adopted a series of ordinances targeted at residential facilities and parolee group homes.

Under a previous code, the town had defined the homes as any residential structure or unit, whether operated by an individual for profit or by as non-profit entity, which is not licensed by the State of California.

The ordinance revision would make it clear that any individual with a disability is specifically entitled to seek a reasonable accommodation from any of the requirements and obligation in the prior code.

The federal Fair Housing Act of 1988 and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing against individuals with disabilities, and requires that cities take affirmative action to eliminate regulations, policies, practices and procedures that deny housing opportunities with people with disabilities.