Tink-Wig Mt. Lake Forest Prop. Owners Ass’n v. Lackawaxen Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd., 986 A.2d 935 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2009).
Private wind turbine may be considered accessory use to residential use.
The Township’s Zoning Officer issued a zoning permit for an individual to construct a 55-foot wind turbine on property located in a planned community to create electricity for the individual’s residential property. The homeowners’ association appealed the issuance of the permit, arguing that it was not a proper accessory use. The trial court upheld the Zoning Hearing Board’s determination that the wind turbine was accessory because it was subordinate to the principal residential use and that it was an essential service (a permitted accessory use) providing electricity to the home. The Commonwealth Court affirmed. While there were cases from other jurisdictions holding that wind turbines are not accessory uses, the Commonwealth Court determined the wind turbine was accessory under this particular zoning ordinance based on a rather broad definition of “public utility” that included the personal provision of electricity.
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