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Town, citizens should work towards energy future

By Staff | Oct 21, 2011

It could have been a landmark vote in the Shepherdstown Planning Commission meeting this week. But it wasn’t.

When Washington Street resident Joe Yates presented the commission with an application to place solar panels on his roof facing the main thoroughfare, some commissioners seemed uneasy with it.

Instead, the commission stood by the town’s historic guidelines, which states solar panels should be placed in “areas not readily visible to the public.”

But, commissioners and citizens alike recognize the importance of addressing these guidelines as solar energy is becoming more popular in the Eastern Panhandle. Since April, three property owners in the historic district have applied for solar panels.

Planning Commission President Josh Stella said at the Monday’s meeting that the guidelines versus green technology is a fundamental issue that the town must address in the near future. Commissioner Karene Motivans, at the end of the meeting, suggested a joint meeting between the planning and historic landmarks commission to explore the future of solar energy for the town.

“I really believe solar – it’s something we need to look at,” said Mayor Jim Auxer at Motivan’s suggestion.

We at The Chronicle applaud the commission’s willingness to address this issue after taking on Yates’ application. In a volatile political climate, affecting the ever-fluctuating price of oil, alternative forms of energy is something that should be considered not just by individual residents but a community as a whole.