Anne Arundel County has issued an eight-month moratorium on the approval of solar parks after concerns were raised by farming and environmental advocates about the impact of those parks on rural areas. The announcement comes after a Nov. 30 vote in favor of an eight-month moratorium by the Anne Arundel County Agriculture, Agritourism and Farming Commission. The decision targets larger scale solar operations. People building solar panels for their homes or businesses — labeled as accessories — won’t be affected. “We need to ensure the impact of heavy industrial activity like solar energy operations has been fully vetted by officials within the Department of Planning and Zoning,” County Executive Steve Schuh said in a statement. The county’s decision was announced Monday. Anne Arundel County Councilman Jerry Walker, R-Crofoton, had planned to announce a resolution at Monday’s County Council meeting. His resolution would have called for a six-month moratorium. The county said there was no coordination with Walker. In that resolution Walker states the county has five pending applications for construction of solar parks in rural agricultural zones. “After meeting with constituents potentially impacted by a number of these projects, I thought their requests to reassess the current regulations made sense, especially given the size and scope of some of the proposals on agricultural land,” Walker said. The county’s assessment of the problem is similar. The generation of electricity is considered an industrial use, but solar parks are allowed in the RA zone, which is a zone meant to protect farmland and low density housing. The growth of solar parks could lead zoning challenges that could redefine those areas, said Phil Hager, Anne Arundel County Planning and Zoning officer. Typically the county would turn to the General Development Plan, which guides development, but that plan is “largely silent” on dispersed energy productions like solar parks, Hager said. The moratorium will give the county the time to review code. “We essentially have no more than eight months to turn around something,” Hager said. “The people who are requesting this and concerned about the