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Lancaster prepares for moratorium on solar farms

Two public hearings -- targeting solar energy farms and flag lots -- were approved by Lancaster lawmakers Tuesday night.

A six-month moratorium on solar farm development was proposed by Councilmember John Abraham Jr. to review zoning regulations and determine revisions and amendments to the town zoning code.

"We're not saying that no solar can be done," Council member Matthew J. Walter said. "It's just about the farms."

The term “solar farm” means a collection of solar panels -- designed to capture sunlight and transform it into electricity – that cover one-quarter acre or more of land. The moratorium will temporarily stop the issuance of permits, certificates of occupancy and approvals for certain land uses related to solar energy.

The second hearing will target "flag lots," land parcels that lie at the end of a long driveway that leads to an access road. Flag lots pop up behind residences, buildings, or open land. They usually are not visible from the road.

Council members hope to adapt zoning ordinances to allow easier access to flag lots by emergency vehicles, and to better gauge the use of property in front of the lot.

Both hearings will take place at 7:15 p.m. March 6 at Lancaster Town Hall, 21 Central Ave.

In other action:

  • The board approved the site plan for the addition of a micro-cell wireless communication tower for the Verizon Wireless store at 6733 Transit Road. The tower would be placed on the roof of the facility, adding about seven feet to the structure's height, said a Verizon representative who attended the meeting. Total height would be 27 feet.
  • Mary Beth Gianni was appointed temporary director of the Lancaster Senior Center after the retirement of Mary Bartz, who served as director for 15 years.


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