PINE GROVE TOWNSHIP - With the growing trend of solar farms coming around the area and the country, Pine Grove Township will work on strengthening their zoning ordinance to help them have more say on them coming in.
At the township's board of supervisors meeting on May 10, township solicitor Gino DiNicola explained the reasoning behind a new resolution the supervisors passed. The resolution deals with the commercial solar farms that have been popping up around, acres of land where solar panels are installed for the purpose of selling the electricity generated to a power company.
Upon hearing rumors about developers looking at areas of the township that could support such a farm, township officials began looking at their zoning ordinance to see what they can do to help regulate the matter, but found the ordinance to be a little outdated.
"When the ordinance was made, things like this was not thought of or may not have existed," DiNicola said. "The resolution will help keep a bit of control with us as the township strengthens the ordinance.
The resolution's first paragraph reads: "Whereas, the Board of Supervisors of Pine Grove Township have reviewed the provisions of the Pine Grove Township Zoning Ordinance and have concluded that said Ordinance or portions thereof are substantially insufficient or otherwise invalid due to the Ordinance's failure to account for uses relating to solar panels, solar facilities, solar energy systems, and solar-related equipment." The planning code allows the supervisors to declare that the ordinance or parts of it are insufficient and gives them 180 days to prepare a curative amendment to correct the declared invalidity.
The resolution was passed at the May 10 meeting by a 2-0 vote with supervisors Shelby Sattizahn and Jamie Strouphauer voting for the resolution. Supervisor Andrew Lesh was absent from the meeting.
In other business at the May 10 meeting: - A public hearing for the 2023 Community Development Block Grant fund and how they will be spent will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, before the next supervisors meeting.
- The township will speak with Tremont Ambulance about providing Advanced Life Support services to the township after the Hegins Area Ambulance Association sent the township a letter that they would no longer be supporting an ALS service.
- In updates on the public works department projects, Sattizahn said that they are working to get the materials together for the Chapel Drive pipe replacement project and will advertise the bid packet for the Nut Grove Road project.
- Schuylkill Paving was awarded a bid to seal the walking path at the Recreation Area and are still getting quotes for the draining of the soccer fields.
- The board gave permission for a government vehicle to park on township property for two months to help veterans in the area.
No other details were provided.