Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Pennsylvania

Bear Creek expected to update zoning tonight

Bear Creek Township supervisors plan to pass an updated zoning ordinance at their next meeting, said engineer Jack Varaly of Pasonick Engineering. Varaly drew up the 100-plus page ordinance for the township. It will be the first of its kind passed since 1995. There are no major changes, he said, but the issue of wind parks would be addressed. The new ordinance incorporates a 2006 zoning ordinance pertaining to wind parks, and those provisions could potentially impact Energy Unlimited's plans to construct a 34-turbine wind park in the township. ...David Lamm, a spokesman for Energy Unlimited, said the company plans to resubmit. Any application, however, must be compliant with current zoning regulations, township Solicitor Bill Vinsko said.
28 Jan 2008

Group files appeal to nullify wind farm approval

The Tioga Preservation Group has filed an appeal in Tioga County Court to try to block plans to construct a wind farm with more than 120 turbines on Armenia Mountain starting in the spring. The appeal was filed by the group Jan. 17, asking that the judge "nullify" the preliminary conditional approval granted to AES Armenia Mountain Wind LLC, by the Tioga County Planning Commission Dec. 12, group member Frank Piccolella said. ...Though AES cannot start construction at the site with the preliminary conditional approval, it can survey the site, and according to a neighbor whose property adjoins the project site, "they are up there doing that, and they can continue working on getting their permits."
26 Jan 2008

Wind debate: nothing resolved; More meetings planned for wind turbine discussion

Following another general meeting filled with lengthy debate, the Potter County Planning Commission (PCPC) will be discussing the guidelines for wind turbines in separate workshop sessions beginning later this month. Nearly 40 people packed the Planning Office Tuesday night to share their views on how strictly the county should regulate wind turbines. Eventually, PCPC decided to invite experts and advisors to help members assess the issues during a series of informational meetings. ...Once the commission adopts changes to the SALDO, the document will be submitted to Potter County Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover for acceptance, revision or rejection. A public comment period is also required by law.
12 Jan 2008

Windmill interest in Harveys Lake results in proposed ordinance

Requests for windmills have caused a breeze of change in Harveys Lake. Council members said they have received several inquiries and requests from residents about installing small windmills for converting wind energy into electrical energy for their homes. ...The borough attorney, Charles McCormick, said the council is not against windmills but "do not want to see them popping up all along the lake." McCormick said although the borough is rural, many houses are "very close together." He explained if one homeowner put up a small windmill, the neighbors could face some inconveniences. "We are looking to regulate them to prevent a strobe light affect on properties that neighbor a windmill," McCormick said. To prevent the strobe light effect, the ordinance states the blades of a windmill must be painted with a non-reflective paint. According to the ordinance, "Reasonable efforts shall be made to minimize shadow flicker to any building on a non-participating landowner's property."
7 Jan 2008

Blatant disrespect

In response to your recent article on wind farms in Tioga County, it was with a blatant disrespect for their own Subdivision and Land Development Ordnance, the Tioga County Planning Commission (TCPC) voted unanimously to give AES conditional preliminary approval for AES’ Armenia Mountain Wind Farm at their December 13th meeting. Several specific ordnances were ignored or purposely misapplied ...
23 Dec 2007

Tioga County planners give preliminary approval for wind turbine project

AES now is “in process of submitting all the required studies to various agencies; they are reviewing the studies and once we get notification back from them, and they have signed off then that gets checked off that list of conditions,” he said. Weaver said “there are three main components that we don‘t have any control over at the county level. Wetlands, jurisdictional determination by the Army Corps, and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System which covers erosion and sedimentation, and storm water.”
18 Dec 2007

Newton puts limits on turbines

According to the new ordinance, wind turbines cannot be taller than 300 feet, louder than 45 A-weighted decibels or closer than 1,500 feet to neighboring properties. Turbines must be set back from the tops of prominent ridges and avoid "adverse visual impacts" on nearby residential areas. They should cast only minimal flickering shadows on occupied buildings. Supervisor Ron Koldjeski called the ordinance one of the supervisors' "more proactive measures." "We're not stopping anyone from doing it if they want to," he said. "We're just making sure it's done right."
11 Dec 2007

Officials work to construct wind turbine ordinance in Butler Twp.

Butler Township officials are trying to construct a wind turbine ordinance before construction of a proposed wind farm takes place. That in itself is difficult. "We understand alternative energy is a direction the state is moving in," said attorney Donald Karpowich, township zoning hearing board solicitor. But because the state's interest is a new concept for municipalities, designing an ordinance to protect the municipalities becomes a bit difficult, he said.
3 Dec 2007

Commissioners give green light for windmills

Citizens fill every seat Thursday in the Commissioners Board Room as Lycoming County Commissioners vote on zoning changes for proposed wind farms. Depending on your point of view, an amendment to the county zoning ordinance pertaining to wind energy is a step toward energy independence or a threat to the preservation of the county's wilderness and scenic beauty. The Lycoming County commissioners Thursday unanimously approved the amendment, which will allow electricity-generating wind turbines by right in resource protection, countryside and agricultural zoning districts.
16 Nov 2007

Commissioners to address wind turbine zoning issue on Thursday

The Lycoming County commissioners will reveal Thursday where they stand regarding a proposed amendment to the county zoning ordinance as it pertains to wind energy. During a work session Tuesday, chief county administrator Fred Marty said the commissioners will act on the amendment to allow electricity-generating wind turbines by right in areas zoned for resource protection. ... Commissioner Dick Nassberg said he does not know how he will vote and will "continue to study facts and language to make sure we come up with the best balance of competing interests." "This is a complex issue," Nassberg said. "You have to balance needs for progress against needs for preservation."
14 Nov 2007

Noisy rotors a ‘minor problem'

A noisy rotor problem on some turbines in the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm was described Tuesday as "minor," and localized to just some of the 40 turbines at the Cambria-Blair county farm. "We have been working with Babcock & Brown and we have a schedule set up for repair," said Ellen Lutz, Gamesa Inc.'s director of development for the Atlantic Region. ...But residents - including Myrle Baum - are not optimistic. Baum said at times the operating windmills sound like a jet going over his house. ...A sound study done by the residents shows times when the turbines were producing levels topping 70 decibels.
13 Nov 2007

Adams Township leaders OK wind farm

About 30 wind turbines will be coming to the hills over Dunlo after Adams Township supervisors approved the Krayn Wind Corp.'s request for the Highland Wind Farm. The approval Tuesday at the supervisors' regular meeting followed a final public hearing on Krayn's conditional use application under the township's zoning ordinance. ...The quiet meeting was in contrast to the first Sept. 17 hearing - when a line of residents spoke of their concerns about the wind farm. Most expressed concerns about reduced values for their property near the proposed turbines, but Barbin noted the supervisors only can apply the existing regulations on the project.
13 Nov 2007

Zoners clear way for tower to check wind

The borough is advancing its exploration of energy options. The Pine Grove Township Zoning Hearing Board gave approval Monday night for erection of a 197-foot wind monitoring tower, on 216 acres of Pine Grove borough property, to gather data to determine if the area would be a good location for a wind farm. Gamesa Energy USA, Philadelphia, will construct the tower on a site located above the borough's well field in the Black Creek Valley north of Second Mountain.
13 Nov 2007

Tyrone Borough Council will not vote on Gamesa's proposed windfarm on Ice Mountain at Nov. 13 meeting

Tyrone Borough Council will not vote at the Tuesday, November 13 council meeting on whether or not the borough will allow Gamesa Energy USA (Gamesa) to lease property on its watershed on Ice Mountain, to place a proposed 10-15 windmills. Mayor James Kilmartin and the rest of borough council are urging Gamesa to hold another public meeting that council will attend in order to hear the community out. "This is a very significant decision that will have long lasting effects," said the mayor. "Almost all council members and borough supervisors have gone to Blue Knob to see the windfarms first hand. We do not take this lightly, we have been researching this for a year now."
8 Nov 2007

Short-winded: Opponents, advocates hash out where turbines should go at brief meeting

The fate of a proposed amendment to the county zoning ordinance as it pertains to wind energy is in the hands of the Lycoming County commissioners, who will vote on the amendment on Nov. 15. The commissioners Monday hosted a public hearing at Pennsylvania College of Technology to hear comments about the amendment, which, if approved, would allow commercial electricity-generating wind turbines by right in resource protection, agriculture and countryside zoning districts.
23 Oct 2007

Council restricts wind turbines

Council members Thursday voted 3-1 to adopt an ordinance to restrict the use of windmill turbines, big and small, to get "some degree of regulation on the books" before requests come in. The ordinance establishes restrictive regulations both for commercial wind energy facilities - with towers 300 feet or higher and huge turbine blades - and for small turbines that generate 60 kilowatts or less primarily drawn by the property on which it is located. "I would not want Mount Nittany to have wind turbines on top of it," councilman Daniel Klees said. "I look at this as being a starting point. I'm confident about being a little more restrictive now because we haven't had a request."
19 Oct 2007

Lycoming County Commissioners: Code of conduct set for meetings

Those speaking Monday during a public hearing regarding a proposed change to Lycoming County's zoning ordinance as it pertains to wind energy will have to follow conduct guidelines. On Thursday, the Lycoming County commissioners adopted the new rules. ...If approved, the [zoning] amendment would allow commercial electricity-generating wind turbines in resource protection, countryside and agricultural zoning districts by right.
19 Oct 2007

Energy company wind farm request tabled

After more than an hour of public testimony - most of it opposed to the proposed AES wind farm project in Tioga and Bradford counties - the Tioga County Planning Commission tabled any action, pending further review. AES's application to build 124 wind turbines on more than 10,000 acres of leased private property on top of Armenia Mountain has been submitted to the commission, but because it is "incomplete," Tioga County Planner Jim Weaver recommended to the board that it be tabled to give AES more time to get the required documentation.
11 Oct 2007

Potter County Planning Commission took steps to regulate construction of wind turbines

COUDERSPORT — Potter County Planning Commission members took steps to regulate the construction of wind turbines in the county Tuesday night during a lengthy meeting. After hearing arguments from supporters and critics of the wind energy industry, planning commission members passed an ordinance that would require that turbines be located a distance of at least seven times their height from adjacent properties.
9 Oct 2007
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