Solar energy soon will come with stipulations in Whitehall
Those looking to mount a solar panel on their roof as a new avenue to provide electricity to their home in a residential Whitehall neighborhood soon could have rules to follow.
A draft of an ordinance nearly a year in the works, outlining regulations for solar energy equipment, was presented to Whitehall council members in the last week.
A public hearing is scheduled for April 16 at 8 p.m. to discuss regulations that will serve as an amendment to the municipality's zoning ordinance. If there are no objections, council could vote that night on the regulations, borough Manager James Leventry said.
“This industry has a tremendous amount of potential for growth,” said Greg Winks, 53, of Whitehall, a clean energy specialist with Clean Energy Resources, which serves as an advisor for institutions on clean energy options, who helped borough officials draft the ordinance.
Whitehall leaders reviewed ordinances from neighboring towns, and patterned the ordinance after one from Upper St. Clair, Leventry said. The borough's planning commission added Whitehall tweaks to it, he said.
“It was their attempt to be proactive with it instead of having to deal with it whenever it did, if it did,” Leventry said.
“I think it will keep little solar things from popping up out of the ground,” Councilwoman Kathy DePuy said. “Yes, there's some things in there that I don't quite agree with, but I think it works.”
The ordinance puts regulations on solar energy systems that would be mounted on a building: requiring them to conform to building height requirements and be uniform with the building. The ordinance prohibits the use of freestanding solar energy systems in the borough, something Winks said he would like to see modified before final passage.
For those looking to install solar energy systems, it helps them do it in the right way, “so it does not happen haphazardly,” Winks said.
The ordinance that includes changes to Whitehall's zoning laws is being submitted to the Allegheny County Planning Commission for review.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.