James Birdsall, 51 Arrow Road, East Brunswick Township, was granted permission by the Schuylkill County Zoning Hearing Board to obtain a zoning permit to install a 34-foot high windmill for residential purposes on his 150-acre farm, in a decision announced at the board's monthly meeting held Thursday evening at the courthouse in Pottsville.
The property is located in an agricultural district and under the county zoning ordinance, is used as a working farm. The county ordinance limits the height of accessory structures in agricultural district to 15 feet and wind turbines for residential purposes or reuseable energy source facilities are not listed as principal merit uses in an agricultural district.
The ordinance does contain language allowing for renewable energy sources in manufacturing and conservative mining districts. The proposed 34-foot high windmill is the minimum height that would allow the windmill to perform adequately. No opposition was voiced at the hearing held at last month's meeting.
The board also approved two other applications.
Rodney Davidson, 232 South Lehigh Avenue, Frackville,was granted a variance to the county zoning ordinance to use his property as a restaurant, without meeting the required number of off-street parking spaces. He has two off-street parking spaces for his pizzeria/restaurant business which is mostly takeouts or quick dining.
The ordinance requires one off-street parking space for each 2.5 seats in a restaurant and his restaurant can seat 40 people.
Eric V. Minichbach, 711 DeTurksville Road, Washington Township, was granted a special exception to the county zoning ordinance to convert a small residential structure to a retail establishment to include sale of guns, sporting goods and associated materials.
The decisions were unanimous by the three board members, Richard Zimmerman, chairman; Michael Chickersy and Kim Eckert.