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Newberry Springs Residents Angered Solar Farm Blocks Mountain Views

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NEWBERRY SPRINGS (CBSLA.com) — Newberry Springs residents are angered by the construction of a 27-acre solar farm they claim has ruined their views of the mountains.

In 2010, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved a property owner’s permit for a solar farm in the desert as a way to provide electricity to customers.

Initially, locals weren’t upset about the idea because they were told the solar panels would be relatively small.

“(The equipment) would only be 6 or 7 feet tall, they wouldn’t block the view,” said resident Dave Wood.

When the original developers sold the property in 2011, however, new ownership under Newberry Solar 1, LLC, proposed the solar farm have panels that were 27 feet high by 47 feet long.

The company claimed the change would “use less equipment with less land disturbance on the same 27-acre portion of a 73-acre parcel.”

Residents said they were never informed about the new, larger panels.

“I don’t know if it could be called deceiving, but I think they painted a picture that wasn’t quite as clear as it turned out to be,” said Ron Frame, a county supervisor’s aide.

Wood told KCAL9’s Greg Mills that he doesn’t accept the panels across the street from his home.

“Property values are gone. Who’s going to buy across the street from that?” he said.

The homeowner, who ironically lives on Mountain View Road, said he’s going to miss the sunsets the most.

“Sometimes they’re magnificent. The only better sunsets I’ve ever seen is when I lived on the water in Hermosa Beach,” said Wood.

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