Zoning promise must be kept in Lordstown
Your editorial on Sunday, “Plant would add allure for drilling,” is a great PR piece for the petroleum industry, but it completely ignores the real story. (I’m sure you sit around all day watching the wire services for the next great quote from that great sage Mr. Keith Burdette from West Virginia.)
The real story is zoning.
Clean Energy Future, LLC is proposing building a natural gas-powered power plant on property located on Salt Springs Road in Lordstown that is currently zoned “residential / business.” They are asking the village to change the zoning for this one piece of property to “industrial” so that they can build the plant.
They are promising lots of money for the village and the school. They’re putting editorials in the paper claiming economic boom for the Mahoning Valley. And that is all well and good.
But this property is adjacent to other residential property and there are many homes adjacent and close to the property. It is the largest concentration of homes in Lordstown. The people who bought that adjacent property, built homes on it with the understanding that zoning would protect them and their property values from this sort of thing happening.
If you look at the plant in Fremont on Google Earth, it is not nearly as close to large concentrations of homes.
But along comes Mr. Siderewicz of Clean Energy Future dangling his carrots and ignoring the fact that there is property in Lordstown that is already “industrial” zoned where the plant could be built.
Why is Clean Energy doing this? Because the property on Salt Springs has high tension wires next to it that could carry the electric they produce. The industrial property on state Route 45 also has power lines, but Mr. Siderewicz says they are the wrong type. So they would have to run separate lines to the property. But that added cost is minuscule compared to the cost of the overall project.
Bottom line, zoning is supposed to protect us, not hold us hostage! Zoning is a promise. It’s one that should be kept. Locate the plant on industrial property where it belongs and don’t infringe on landowners’ rights. That’s all the citizens ask for. We can still have the tax revenue for the schools, the village and the spin-off jobs for the Valley.