THE CITY OF FERGUS FALLS DOES ORDAIN:
Section 1. City Code Chapter 7 is hereby amended by adding a new Section 7.43 so as to read as follows:
SEC. 7.43 WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS (WECS) MORATORIUM
SUBD. 1. Preamble.
Recent advances in wind energy conversion system technology have resulted in a new generation of energy possibilities by using wind energy conversion systems to drive small generators based solely upon wind energy.
The technology exists that has made it possible to develop wind turbines that generate energy within the city limits. The Fergus Falls City Council has directed city staff to study the effects and implications of wind energy conversion systems and wind turbine development within the city limits.
There is a need to study these and other issues to determine what regulatory controls need to be adopted to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Additionally, significant factors such as height restrictions, noise impact, safety concerns, visual impact and character of the community all must be fully examined and studied to ascertain the impact these systems may have upon the community of Fergus Falls.
The Council finds, therefore, that a moratorium is required in order to protect the planning process and to prevent the approval or development of wind turbines or wind energy conversion systems within the city limits. At the present time, it is expected that the necessary study and implementation can be completed within six (6) months.
SUBD. 2. Moratorium Established; Scope; Definition of Wind Energy Conversion System and/or Wind Turbine Energy Conversion Systems.
A. In accordance with the findings set forth in the Preamble to this Ordinance and pursuant to the authority of Minnesota Statutes 462.355, Subd. 4, there is hereby established a moratorium on the construction, erection, placement, reconstruction, enlargement or expansion of wind energy conversion systems (WECS) or wind turbine energy conversion systems within the City and on the development and use of property for such purposes. Said moratorium shall also be applicable to the provision of City Code 7.02 and 7.52 relating to permits or other requests for construction of said wind energy conversion systems or wind turbine energy conversion systems.
B. During the period of the moratorium, applications for final site and building plan approval, building permits, and other permits or approvals related to such wind energy conversion systems or wind turbine energy conversion systems shall not be accepted by the City, neither the Planning Commission nor the City Council shall consider or grant approval of any application required for such work and no building permits for such work shall be issued.
C. For the purposes of the moratorium, the term "wind energy conversion system" and "wind turbine energy conversion system" means "any structure or turbine or combination thereof, intended primarily to operate as an electrical generating facility comprised of one or more wind turbines and accessory facilities, including but not limited to power lines, transformers, substations and meteorological towers that operate by converting the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy". A "wind turbine" is any piece of electrical generating equipment that converts the kinetic energy of blowing wind into electrical energy through the use of airfoils or similar devices to capture the wind.
SUBD. 3 Applicability.
The moratorium shall be applicable to property throughout the City.
Section 2. City Code Chapter 1 entitled "Definitions and General Provisions Applicable to Entire City Code Including Penalty for Violation" and Section 7.99 entitled "Violation a Misdemeanor" are hereby adopted in their entirety, by reference, as though repeated verbatim herein.
Section 3. Effective Date. The effective date of this ordinance shall be the 30th day of
March , 2008.
THIS ORDINANCE was introduced on February 19, 2008, and adopted by the City Council of the City of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, on the 3rd day of March, 2008, by the following vote:
AYES: Burt, Jensen, Shelstad, Leland, Wilson, Synstelien, Schierer, Stumbo
Mark Sievert Russell Q. Anderson
City Administrator Mayor
Publication Date: March 15, 2008