Appeal deadline passes for hotly debated Dover solar farm

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

The future of Dover Township's long-debated solar farm appears to be assured as the deadline to appeal the zoning board's approval passed last week.

Dover Director of Planning John McLucas said he's not aware of any appeals that have been filed against the 600-acre solar farm. A search of York County's Prothonotary website does not show any appeal, either.

Enel Green Power project manager Brittany Staszak said the solar company was grateful for the special use exemption granted by the zoning board.

"The lack of appeals is a testament to the soundness of the Board’s decision after careful evaluation of our application, which complies with all applicable ordinances," Staszak said.

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Representatives from Keep Dover Beautiful, a citizens' group formed in opposition to the solar project, declined comment on the matter.

The lack of appeal clears a path forward for the project, which received conditional approval in June after over six months of debate and public hearings.

A special-use exemption was asked for by Enel Green Power, an Italian-based solar corporation, and the matter began in front of Dover's board in November 2021. Setting a tone for the meetings to follow, it was immediately tabled due to a higher than anticipated turnout from the community. 

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Since that time, it was the only topic discussed at six meetings in a row, where the board heard from detractors and supporters alike. At the time of the final approval, Keep Dover Beautiful members said they were considering an appeal but have fallen silent since then.

Enel plans to bring a land development plan before the Dover Planning Board late this fall, Staszak said. 

In addition, Enel will hold a virtual town hall in the fall. While the date and time have yet to be determined, the company encourages those interested to stay updated through its website at https://www.enelgreenpower.com/our-projects/in-development/dover-solar-project or its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/doversolarproject.

"We are approaching the next steps of planning the project with consideration for all the feedback that neighbors raised during the hearings," Staszak said. "This is a long and detailed process, and we want to make certain that we are creating the best possible project that will meet or exceed all local and state standards."

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.