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Vienna leaders seek county support on solar panels

May 05, 2023

Jun 9, 2023

VIENNA — Township trustees will send a request to the Trumbull County commissioners to adopt a resolution supporting the township's prohibition of large solar panel farms.

Trustees previously passed a motion to prohibit the construction of any economically significant wind farm or large solar facility in the township. Trustee Chairman Rich Dascenzo said the township already has this in place in its zoning laws and are asking commissioners to also pass it, which is required.

Officials said a main reason the prohibition was added to the zoning was concern about reflecting solar panels causing problems for pilots leaving the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, which are in the township.

Solar panels rely on solar radiation as an energy source for the generation of electricity or transfer of stored heat.

The state has allowed townships to choose for themselves whether they want to have commercial solar panels, and to regulate any of the solar panels on the ground.

Trustees said there are no regulations from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources regarding solar panels.

Dascenzo said solar panels are permitted for residential use as long as they follow guidelines, such as not being more than 10 feet high and being located in the rear yard of a property. They also should not be more than 50-square feet in size. Nonfunctioning solar panels must be removed within 90 days of becoming nonfunctional.


Dascenzo said trustees are reviewing further the traffic law photo monitoring program and use of speed cameras. He said they are discussing entering into a contract but have not officially done so.

"The speed cameras are on hold. You have to do this in a process. We are still negotiating and looking this over," he said.

Dascenzo said a consultant from Blue Line Solutions gave a presentation to officials and the public.

Police Chief Bob Ludt said different options on cameras are being reviewed to see what would best assist the police department to moitor speeding.

"There are people who misunderstand the program," he said

At the May meeting, several residents spoke against the cameras. Resident Cindy Johnson said she felt speed cameras will cause ill will among residents.

In April, trustees discussed the idea of adding speed cameras in several different parts of the township, including school zones, similar to Youngstown.

The company did a traffic count study of speeding vehicles in different areas of Vienna such as Niles Vienna and Smith Stewart roads, where residents have complained about speeding. Neighboring Girard and Weathersfield use speed cameras.

Dascenzo said he believes the cameras will deter vehicles from speeding, which also will mean fewer auto accidents.

In other action, trustees have approved a safety forces retention bonus program. Individuals must have 700 hours and one to five years employment for $1,000; five to 10 years $1,500; and 10 or more years $2,000.

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