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Second solar project in Dover Township receives approval

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

Dover Township’s second solar farm received a special use exception in far less time than the first one took.

The township's Zoning Hearing Board signed off on Solar Renewable Energy’s proposal Wednesday night for a 27-acre solar farm that off Harmony Grove Road. The project will feature 10,500 solar panels — enough to power roughly 12,000 homes.

“We’re very anxious to engage and get to the next steps,” the company's sales director, Steve Crimmel, said after the approval.

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The meeting was lightly attended, a far cry from the packed crowds that showed in February and March. About 20 people attended the meeting.

The motion to approve included a condition that the low-mow, low-grow grass that the applicant plans to use at the property be specified at the land development plan process. It also must be noninvasive, cannot interfere with hay or other agricultural growth grown on or near the property, and cannot be toxic to horses or other livestock.

Dover resident Lonny Seitz, on left, speaking with Solar Renewable Energy's Steve Crimmel, on right, before the Board at the meeting about the proposed solar farm in Dover on March 15, 2023.

The motion also recommended baseline soil tests be conducted.

The special use exception approved Wednesday night is the second granted in as many years by the Zoning Hearing Board. Enel North America’s proposed solar farm received approval in June 2022, several months after it was initially introduced.

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While the exception was approved, SRE’s proposal isn’t finalized yet. Solicitor Michael Craley noted that a written decision with findings of fact is due within 45 days of the closing of testimony; testimony concluded at the March 15 meeting. That means the written decision must be issued by May 1, the first business day after the conclusion of the 45-day period.

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Once that written decision is issued, those opposed will have 30 days to appeal the decision to the York County Court of Common Pleas.

Solar Renewable Energy's Steve Crimmel, on left, talking with Dover resident Joe Heffelfinger, in center, before the Board at the meeting about the proposed solar farm in Dover on March 15, 2023.

Crimmel said he could not give a timeframe for when the land development plan might be submitted to Dover Township if it passes the potential appeal process.

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