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Land in Lackawanna County could soon be used for a solar farm

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison spoke with borough officials ahead of Monday night's meeting in Taylor.

TAYLOR, Pa. — About 40 acres of land in Taylor has the potential to become a solar farm.

Taylor Borough Manager Daniel Zeleniak says the property used to be a dump until the EPA came in and cleaned it up. But now there are signs along the property posted by Taylor Energy Initiative, LLC, which wants to use the land for a solar farm.

"It was on the Lackawanna County repository list. Generally, people don't want to purchase a superfund site. However, it was sold. And now an application came in to put a solar farm," Zeleniak said.

The company applied for a permit with the borough to begin the process but was previously denied. Now, the company must make its case for the board to change the ruling.

"They did appeal it, and they're asking for a special permit to be voted on or approved by the zoning hearing board," Zeleniak explained.

Zeleniak says a solar energy facility is foreign to the borough, and officials say they have to consider what this would mean for residents.

"Within our zoning ordinance, we didn't really have a direct use of a solar farm, like a house or commercial building or this or that, so it wasn't specifically named in there."

The borough sent letters to people near the property about the company's request to attend and give feedback.

"They could vote on it tonight, good or bad, and then whatever direction they choose. Either the applicant can appeal, or adjacent homeowners have the right to appeal to the county court."

Monday night, the Taylor Borough Zoning Board held a special meeting to discuss the company's request.

The board voted unanimously against the permit request.

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