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Turbine proposal sent back to planning commission

After more than two hours of discussion Thursday, the Foster Township Zoning Hearing Board tossed a wind turbine proposal back to the township planning commission.

A proposal by EDF Renewable Energy to construct up to 25 electricity-generating wind turbines on mountain ridges in Foster Township was initially brought before the township zoning hearing board for special exception zoning approval, but the board postponed a decision in favor of giving the local planning commission opportunity to determine whether the proposal will fit the township’s land development comprehensive plan.

At a continued hearing Tuesday, the planning commission rendered an opinion that the proposal does not fit the comprehensive plan.

The EDF Energy proposal would construct wind turbines on reclaimed mine land near the Eckley baseball field, which is zoned agricultural; on Green Mountain to the east of Beech Mountain Lakes, which is zoned conservation; and on Buck Mountain to the north of the Lausanne Township line, which is zoned light industrial.

The planning commission sent its opinion and the EDF proposal back to the zoning hearing board, which reconvened its hearing Thursday before another standing-room-only crowd.

The zoning hearing board once again postponed a final determination in favor of putting the proposal in front of the planning commission one more time for a comparison of the turbine proposal to the township comprehensive plan.

No date for the planning commission hearing has been set.