Zoning is a complicated problem. Zoning regulations vary from state to state and from one local
jurisdiction to the next. There are perhaps 25,000 local zoning jurisdictions in the nation.
Further, existing zoning laws seldom address distributed wind turbines. In this paper, we will
highlight the experiences of veterans of zoning battles that illustrate this market barrier. We will
look at the option of local action on distributed wind zoning to highlight certain shortcomings of
this approach. Last, we will consider examples of state and federal limited preemption of local
zoning authority as a means of promoting the implementation of new technologies, and we will
present recommendations for action by the wind industry to pursue constructive and effective
zoning solutions for distributed wind power.
Editor's Note: This paper, presented at the Windpower 2005 Conference held in Denver, Colorado May 15-18, recommends 'limited state preemption of home rule' as the most viable approach for wind advocates to eliminate zoning barriers to distributed wind.