Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Pennsylvania
In a split decision on Thursday, the Fayette County commissioners voted to amend the county zoning ordinance to allow windmills/wind turbines as a permitted use in certain zoning districts, eliminating the need for wind energy companies to seek approval from the zoning hearing board.
The company proposing to develop a wind turbine farm on Buck Mountain will go before Black Creek Township for approval of its land development plan. The township supervisors accepted preliminary plans at its Tuesday night meeting. Penn Wind LLC of Sunbury wants to construct 22 wind turbines on top of the Buck Mountain ridge.
Fayette County commissioners took public comment Thursday on a proposal to eliminate the need for a special exception for wind turbines, but they did not immediately vote on it. Under the county's zoning ordinance, a special exception and approval by the Zoning Hearing Board is required to erect wind turbines on land zoned for agricultural and industrial use.
The Fayette County commissioners will hold a public hearing next week on a proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance that, if adopted, would allow the placement of wind turbines in certain zoning districts without approval from the zoning hearing board. The amendment proposes to change a section of the county zoning ordinance dealing with windmill/wind turbines that would change the use from a special exception to a permitted use in agricultural and manufacturing zoning districts.
A property owner was denied by the Schuylkill County Zoning Hearing Board to install two windmills on his property to generate electricity for his home and business on grounds he failed to prove the safety of the items. The decision was handed down at the monthly meeting of the board held Thursday evening at the courthouse in Pottsville.
One Fayette County commissioner said that a recently overturned zoning hearing board ruling is evidence that the board doesn't always rule in line with county's zoning ordinance. ..."The court's ruling solidifies my long-standing concern of factual instances where ZHB decisions deviates from the county's zoning ordinance," Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink said.
Judge Ralph C. Warman, who heard the appeal filed by PPM Atlantic Renewable, sent the case back to the zoning hearing board. "Since the ZHB has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and render final adjudications in applications for variances, and upon consideration that the ZHB has failed to do so in this case, we remand this action back to the ZHB for further proceedings consistent with this opinion," Warman wrote.
North Middleton Township supervisors Harry Kelso and James Hare will research a a wind turbine ordinance and report back to the board, supervisors decided at a workshop meeting tonight. Kelso and Hare volunteered to develop recommendations for the ordinance, which supervisors first considered at last month's workshop meeting.
A Sunbury-based alternative energy company received approval to harness wind power in Black Creek Township, paving the way to set 22 turbines along the skyline of Buck Mountain on former coal mining land. During nearly three hours of testimony and public response Thursday night, the Black Creek Township Zoning Hearing Board heard Penn Wind LLC's request for a special exception to build four, 425-foot-tall turbines in the township.
Pending the study of zoning issues and other variables, the Butler Township supervisors voted Tuesday evening to place a moratorium on any construction of commercial and residential wind turbines in the township. The supervisors made the decision after about a 90-minute discussion involving township residents opposed to a proposed project to place 27 wind turbines, or windmills, in the township.
Wind energy developer Gamesa Energy USA will have to revise plans for a 30-turbine project a third time, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. Despite being in the permitting process for nearly two years and encountering vocal opposition, company officials said they will continue to seek a permit for the proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm.
On March 17, the state Department of Environmental Protection rejected for a third time Gamesa Energy's plan to install industrialized wind turbines on Shaffer Mountain. What part of "no" doesn't Gamesa - and Berwind Corp. - understand? DEP's eight-page "Technical Deficiency Letter" was sent to Timothy Vought of Shaffer Mountain Wind LLC and lists questions that must be answered if the permit application is to be resubmitted.
Supervisors finalized the county's strictest wind turbine ordinance during a public meeting on Thursday attended by residents and a wind energy representative. Jeffrey Rinehart, project manager for Horizon Wind Energy, said the ordinance would affect the company's plan to build the largest wind farm in the county, some 42 turbines, in the northern part of the township. "As far as we're concerned, it's pretty tight," Rinehart said. "We have to go back and see how it impacts the useable property."
A new voice has entered Tyrone Borough's long debate over a proposed wind farm. Gov. Ed Rendell called Mayor Jim Kilmartin in early February to urge borough officials to approve a lease agreement with Sandy Ridge Wind Farm developer Gamesa. ...Rendell made it clear that Tyrone's lack of participation would counteract the state's multimillion dollar efforts that brought the Spain-based wind developer to Pennsylvania.
Supervisors put more than a year of work and discussion behind them by agreeing to a proposed wind turbine ordinance during Monday's meeting. The proposal goes beyond county code by imposing noise limits and extending the distance a turbine must be placed from property lines. Quemahoning will require developers to keep the nearest unit a minimum of four times the height of the turbine from the property line of a non-participating landowner. That equates to a little over 1,600 feet for a standard 2.1-megawatt turbine.
South Middleton Township supervisors Thursday adopted an ordinance to regulate the construction of wind energy facilities on both private and commercial sites. ..."We promote alternate sources of energy," said Chairman Bryan Gembusia. "Our goal is not to prohibit (windmills), we just don't want them to be obtrusive to the neighbors."
The request for an expansion of Logan Township's wind zone has been withdrawn because plans for a wind farm are being redesigned, Gamesa Energy USA representatives said Wednesday. ..."We are withdrawing our request," project manager Tim Vought said. "We've been looking at revising the project and sent a letter to the supervisors asking them not to vote at this time."
A Lycoming Court judge has rejected three court appeals filed in an attempt to stop a proposed wind farm in northern Lycoming County.
A tie vote by Tyrone Borough Council means wind turbines won't be going up on Ice Mountain - at least for now. "Half the town's going to be pleased," said Mayor Jim Kilmartin, one of three who voted against leasing borough watershed land to wind energy developer Gamesa USA. "Half the town will be unpleased." Councilmen Mark Kosoglow and Steve Hanzir also voted against moving ahead with the project that would put 15 to 20 wind turbines on the mountain as part of Gamesa's Sandy Ridge Wind Farm.
Legislation for the construction of wind turbines in Potter County has been approved. ...The legislation is the countywide ordinance. However, several townships where plans are moving ahead for wind turbines have passed their own ordinances or have ordinances proposed that would supersede the countywide legislation.