Schuylkill County officials are considering an amendment to the current county zoning ordinance, regarding regulations for wind turbines.
Virginia Morton, of Tower City, addressed the commissioners during the board’s meeting Wednesday. She also spoke during public comment at a previous meeting. At that time, Morton said that a company called Clean Air Generation had leased 12,672 acres owned by Rausch Creek LLC.
The lands include acreage in both Hegins and Porter townships. Porter Township used the county zoning ordinance; Hegins Township has its own. The county zoning ordinance was last revised in 2010. Under the current county zoning ordinance, wind turbines are permitted uses in certain zones, such as agricultural.
Morton said she had spoken to members of the County Planning Commission and hoped that the commissioners would take steps to amend the existing ordinance. She said the project could include four Schuylkill County townships and 75 to 100 wind turbines.
“Time is of the essence,” Morton said. “This proposed project will have irreversible and negative impacts on residents.”
“Please take those steps (amending the zoning ordinance) for the long-term benefit of communities,” she added.
Commissioners’ Chairman George Halcovage said that the board was discussing the issue.
“We’re following the process that we have, and reviewing the ordinance,” Halcovage said.
Morton said that the county’s current ordinance does not include restrictions on height or density, and does not address the visual, environmental and economic impact such projects have on communities. To date, Clean Air Generation has not submitted plans to the county, or to Hegins Township. Under the current county zoning ordinance, wind turbines are permitted uses in certain zones, such as agricultural, he said.
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