Further review of a glare study will have to wait, Mount Joy Township supervisors decided last week.
Hoping that further investigation would shed new light, supervisors elected to delay consideration of hiring an expert to focus on a study of potential glare from a solar power installation at the proposed industrial scale.
Supervisors asked Township Engineer Erik Vranich for more details about a company’s offer to review a study submitted by Brookview Solar 1 in conjunction with its application to install solar panels on the properties of the Township’s Agricultural Conservation (AC) Zoning District.
The Gannett Fleming company offered a basic exam for about $7,500 and an advanced exam for about $21,000, Vranich said.
Supervisors asked Vranich to find out more about what the two types of study would include and whether the cost of a basic exam could be applied to an in-depth exam if the former indicated a need for the latter.
Other companies either did not respond to inquiries or appeared closely related to the solar industry, Vranich said.
After Vranich and Township Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer Shannon Hare said they lacked the professional expertise to assess the glare study, supervisors voted in July to spend up to to $20,000 to hire a lighting engineer or equivalent professional to do the job.
Supervisors voted Aug. 18 to approve a preliminary plan for the AC District portion of Brookview’s proposal. Construction cannot proceed until supervisors approve a final plan.
On September 2, a judge upheld the township’s June 2021 denial of a conditional-use zoning permit for the portion of Brookview’s proposal in the Baltimore Pike Corridor (BPC) zoning district.
Adams County Court of Common Pleas President, Judge Michael George, ruled that the glare study submitted by Brookview with the BPC request was not sufficient to demonstrate the lack of impact negative.
George rejected the company’s argument that simply submitting a glare analysis, as required by the order, was enough.
“Brookview’s interpretation would allow a grade one student’s pencil artwork, along with the words ‘the glare produced by the project would have no adverse impact’, to be sufficient” , he wrote.
Also last week, at the request of supervisors Todd McCauslin and Christine Demas, the August 18 meeting minutes were amended to clarify that the vote on Brookview Solar 1 was taken out loud.
If a roll-call vote had taken place instead of Supervisors Chairman Bernie Mazer simply calling on all supporters to say yes, McCauslin and Demas said they would have commented on the reasons for abstaining.
Demas and McCauslin were legal parties opposed to the BPC portion of the solar project, but withdrew after being elected last November.
Supervisors have delayed deciding whether to replace township-owned road signs alerting drivers to the presence of Amish strollers.
Both of these signs were stolen, the first shortly after being installed about a year and a half ago and the second a few days before the meeting, said Roadmaster Shane Wise.
Supervisor Gil Clark expressed doubts about the necessity of the signs and the wisdom of replacing them if they are likely to be stolen. Other supervisors and members of the public said the signs are needed to alert out-of-town drivers who use narrow, dark roads.
Supervisors agreed to postpone the issue until Wise could investigate potential ways to prevent the theft.
Signs displaying only words rather than a picture of a buggy could be less appealing to thieves, a member of the public said.
In other business at the September 15 meeting:
• By unanimous vote, supervisors declared a residence at 456 Mud College Road a historic structure as permitted by township ordinance. The house dates to the late 1850s, owner Barbara Steele said. “Thank you for preserving part of Mount Joy,” Mazer said.
• South Central PA’s general manager of community media, Raymond Gouker, has asked supervisors to consider supporting the organization, which provides cable TV and online coverage of local government meetings and other events. Federal law gives municipalities the option of supporting public service channels through the franchise fee paid by regular cable TV providers or a transfer of a portion of cable TV bills, a- he declared. The township is in “extended” negotiations with Comcast and will keep Community Media’s request in mind, Mazer said.