default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

San Joaquin County supervisors approve solar farm in Lockeford area

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 2:15 pm | Updated: 7:14 am, Tue Oct 23, 2012.

A solar farm where cows now graze south of Lockeford received the blessing of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Supervisors voted 4-1 to allow Bear Creek Solar to construct a solar farm on 20 acres on the east side of Jack Tone Road south of Victor Road. The vote overturns the county Planning Commission's 3-2 denial at its Sept. 6 meeting.

Stockton land-use attorney Steve Herum, representing Bear Creek Solar and applicant Christopher Little of Minnesota, said that Little will sell electrical power from the project to Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

The Board of Supervisors approved the solar farm despite the protests of Ruben Cortez and Darrell Horton, who live across Jack Tone Road from the proposed solar farm site.

Cortez and Horton, who live in separate residences, told the board that they enjoy drinking their morning coffee, looking at the cows now occupying the future solar project and gazing at the foothills. They fear they'll see the solar project instead.

Herum said the solar farm will be landscaped so people won't have to look at the panels.

"He's a local hired gun," Cortez said of Herum after Tuesday's hearing. "He can make a Porta-Potty sound good."

In an interview after the board meeting, Little said he plans to construct the solar project in the first or second quarter of 2013. Construction will take three months, he said.

To landscape the property, Little said, he will hire a landscape architect who is familiar with the soil and weather conditions in the area. Little constructs solar projects throughout the nation, Herum said.

Supervisor Ken Vogel, who represents the Lodi-Lockeford area, voted against the project because he'd like to wait until the county adopts a policy governing solar farms.

Vogel said he thought that solar farms need to be near a tall transmission line, but there aren't any transmission lines planned for the Lockeford-area project.

Katie Patterson, program director for the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation, told supervisors that the Farm Bureau considers the term "solar farm" a misnomer because the project won't produce food or clothing materials. Instead, the Farm Bureau is referring to the project as a "solar facility," Patterson said.

Farm Bureau officials believe that the county should work with them to develop a county policy governing solar facilities, Patterson said. Although Herum said the 23-acre site is not land of "statewide importance" and is fallow at the moment, Patterson said it would be a good location to have a small agricultural operation.

Supervisor Carlos Villapudua said he was concerned about a developer from Minnesota coming to San Joaquin County to build a solar project.

"If we approve it, will you use local labor?" Villapudua asked Little.

The general contractor might be from outside California, Little said, but it makes sense to hire local subcontractors.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 5:04 am on Wed, Oct 17, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Thanks Mr Houdack, great idea... lets also apply this thinking to liberals.Let's send a smiling photo of Obama to each one after he loses this election so they can pretend he is president.

  • Rick Houdack posted at 8:21 pm on Tue, Oct 16, 2012.

    Rick Houdack Posts: 123

    Theses solar panels will provide clean, zero-emission electric power, using no irrigation and introducing zero pesticedes into the environment, and the complaint is that two men won;t be able to stare at someone else's cows during the moments they MIGHT be looking while nthey drink their morning coffee? Those men can buy themselves a photo of some cows to look at in the mornings.



Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 227


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists