Proposed solar park hits minor snag
A proposed solar park, which will be located on the Nesquehoning Mountain, hit a minor snag during Tuesday's Carbon County Planning Commission meeting.
During the meeting, Ivan O. Meixell, county planner, recommended that the board recommend conditional plan rejection until all problems with the preliminary plan are rectified. The recommendation passed unanimously.
Meixell told officials from NM Solar Facilities, who were present, that the recommendation does not mean the project cannot proceed, and explained that if the engineer for the project can submit the necessary changes, he would sign off on the preliminary plans.
Prior to the vote, Meixell provided an overview of the plan, which calls for a three-phase development of 61 acres into a solar facility, consisting of fixed solar panels/modules, gravel access road, and associated storm water controls.
Steve Cormier, solicitor for Kovatch Corp., explained the facility would stretch from right behind Redner's Warehouse to about 10th Avenue in the Hauto Valley Estates. All panels would be located on the mountain facing south.
According to a previous article published in the TIMES NEWS, the property is owned by Kovatch Corp. and the panels would be used to help power the corporation.
Meixell said about 17 points need to be changed to meet all plan requirements.
Frank Jacobs, a member of the county planning commission, asked what would be done about the water runoff from the project, as the area of Hauto Valley Estates cannot handle more of a water runoff problem.
Robert Irwin, project manager for Penn Wind-PA Solar; and Bud Schenck, engineer from Mid-Penn Engineering Corp., answered some of the questions at the meeting.
The proposed solar park has been in the works for nearly a year.
According to a previous article in the TIMES NEWS, in March, the Nesquehoning borough planning committee recommended approval of a special exception permit for NM Solar's project.
In May, the borough zoning hearing board recommended approval for the 8.5-9 megawatt solar panel project.
During that meeting, the board also recommended approval for special exceptions to build the three separate 3-megawatt metered solar facilities. These included special exceptions for a photovoltaic solar power generating facility in a R-1 (residential) zoning district; solar panels in a CO-1 (commercial) district; a variance for the 50-foot setback from a residential district; a variance request in a commercial district for a minimum rear setback; and variances for setbacks between the property line of Kovatch Enterprises Inc. and Hauto Valley Estate Inc.
No cost for the project or an exact timetable as to when the solar facility will be completed has been announced.
In other matters, the board also acted on four other proposed subdivisions. They are as follows:
• Catholic Senior Corp. of Lansford received plan approval for its development of a .258-acre plot at 30 E. Bertsch St., Lansford. The company has been renovating the former St. Ann's School into 17 senior housing units; as well as creating an 11-space parking lot.
• Tammy L. and Harold B. Anthony Jr. received plan approval for their proposed lot line revision at 11/13 W. Kline Ave., Lansford. The plan calls for combining the two lots at the aforementioned location into one lot.
• St. Francis of Assisi Church received conditional plan approval for its proposed subdivision/lot line revision at 140 W. Mill St., Nesquehoning. The plan calls for combining six lots into one lot.
• Dawn K. and Patrick J. Mriss received plan approval for their proposed subdivision at 536 Jamestown Drive in Mahoning Township. The plan calls for dividing 25.3 acres into two lots.