When: Clay Township supervisors meeting, March 8.

What happened: Supervisors voted 2-1 to approve a forestry regulation ordinance. Chairman Tim Lausch and Gary Landis voted yes; Vice Chairman Keith Martin voted no.

Why it matters: Township manager Bruce Leisey said the new forestry ordinance will follow the state’s Act 38, known as the ACRE Law (Agricultural, Communities, Rural, Environment). The law ensures all ordinances adopted by townships to regulate normal agricultural operations are not in violation of state law. The new ordinance eradicates Section 540 of the Clay Zoning Ordinance.

Background: Leisey wrote in a March 11 email that a complaint was filed under the state’s ACRE Law regulations with the Attorney General’s office stating the township’s ordinance was in violation of state regulations.  

n Wildflower Commons: Supervisors unanimously granted permission to developer Bennett Williams Commercial to classify the switching of use for lot E of the Wildflower Commons development as a “minor change.” Lot E went from a small commercial space to a four-unit rental townhouse apartment located on the corner of Queen Anne’s Way and Larkspur Lane. By gaining  the supervisors’ permission, developers will not be required to submit a modified land development plan. A variance was granted by the Clay Zoning Board prior to the meeting for a residential unit to be built in a commercial zoned district.

Quotable: “My mind keeps going back to the topic of zoning and having available land for all uses, and this was one piece that was going to be for commercial. I don’t know off the top of my head how many parcels, acres or square feet do we have (left) available for commercial. Are we doing the right thing?” Landis said.

Other business: Leisey said the township will temporarily close Carpenter Road, with a tentative start date of May 31. The road, which includes a bridge on the border with Warwick and Ephrata townships with a weight limit of three tons, serves as a shortcut between Clay and Lincoln roads. Supervisors are concerned about potential damage to the bridge from excessive traffic while Lincoln Road is closed for a bridge replacement from June to November.

What’s next: Supervisors will meet at 7 a.m. on March 23 at the township building.