Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Iowa
The Kossuth County Board of Supervisors is considering how to craft what essentially would be a ban on the expansion of commercial wind energy production in the county.
Senator Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake, a member of the Iowa Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee, said he has a number of concerns about “the dramatic expansion of eminent domain authority the Utilities Board appears to give itself.” Private property rights and utility development have been a flash point for lawmakers from both parties for years.
“I have a number of concerns about these proposed rules from the Iowa Utilities Board,” Whiting said in a statement. “My principal concern is the dramatic expansion of eminent domain authority the IUB appears to give itself. Private property is one of the fundamental aspects of our republic. “Eroding those rights through administrative rule-making conflicts with the founding principles of our state and nation,” Whiting said.
Keynon is trying to get away from the legal position of saying “stop” because he isn’t sure he can take a legal position and defend the county by saying that. Instead, the board can say it is putting on hold, pausing or slowing this process down. Ultimately, the board adopted the policy to put a hold on any new applications until January 1, 2021. The policy will be implemented August 1.
Iowa, a national leader in wind energy, is weighing new rules for siting renewable energy projects — regulations that could shake up a system that's enabled billions of dollars of investment in the state over the past two decades.
The Fremont County Board of Supervisors this week set the public hearing for its May 13th meeting. Deputy County Attorney Tyler Loontjer says the proposed ordinance drew from similar ordinances across the state.
The current ordinance requires there to be 1500 feet between a wind turbine and any home on neighboring property. Supervisor Jon Herzberg said increasing the setback much more would effectively end wind energy possibilities in the county. “A 1600-feet setback is about the most you can go, otherwise the wind energy company won’t come in,” he said.
Changes could be coming to Page County's wind turbine ordinance. The Page County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to consider an amendment to the county's wind energy conversion system ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday morning at the county courthouse.
Leaders in southwest Iowa’s Page County held two public hearings this week to gather residents’ comments on wind power, whether to allow more wind turbines to be built or to enact tighter regulations on the turbines.
"Our intent in having an ordinance is to protect people," said Morris. "I'm proud of that fact. Is it perfect? No, that's why we're debating here. How do we make this ordinance work best for everybody? It's a tough issue. You have land rights that are important, whether that's with a windmill or without a windmill."
Hardin County supervisors unanimously passed an indefinite moratorium on wind turbine building permits at its meeting Wednesday.
The amendment caps the number of commercial wind turbines or wind farms erected within the boundaries of Adair County at a total of no more than 535. Adair County currently has 532 turbines completed or under construction. This comes after neighboring Union County earlier this year passed its ordinance allowing the construction of wind farms to start within the county.
Page County is the latest to deal with the controversy involving wind turbines in the state. By unanimous vote Tuesday morning, the county's board of supervisors approved an ordinance designed to--quote--"promote the public health, safety, comfort and general welfare" regarding turbines.
Renewable energy in Iowa hit new headwinds Tuesday as Madison County supervisors passed the state's first moratorium on new wind turbine installations and Adair County leaders said they were considering capping the number of turbines in their county, effectively stopping new construction. Madison County supervisors voted 2-1 to approve their moratorium, which also applies to new solar energy installations.
Today, a reading in Madison County will help decide whether wind and solar energy projects will be delayed.
The Madison County Board of Supervisors has scaled back the duration of its proposed moratorium on new wind turbines. The board voted to end the moratorium on October 1st of next year, rather than on January 1, 2022.
On Tuesday, the Madison County Board of Supervisors heard public comment as they look into a moratorium on certain renewable energy construction. The moratorium the Madison County Board of Supervisors is considering would stop construction of all wind turbines and commercial solar energy systems in Madison County until January 1 2022, excluding projects approved before January 1 of this year.
Winterset resident Alan Lange told the board he supports clean energy systems like wind farms, but he thinks the county needs more time to study their effects. "I do think that it’s time to take a step back and consider the concerns that the community has brought forth. I don’t feel that we are in a rush to develop our countryside into clean energy," Lange said.
Reynolds said permits for wind turbine towers are issued by local, not state officials. “This is something that local governments will be deciding,” Reynolds said. “They’re the ones that grant them and can make the decision not to.”
Kevin de Regnier, a Winterset doctor and health board chairman, said Tuesday that a board member referred to the wrong study in making the recommendation. But it was understandable after reading "hundreds of pages" of reports over about eight months. "The board took this very seriously," de Regnier said. "It was done with great study, significant public input and scientific study.