Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Nebraska
The Cherry County Planning Commission has recommended against approving a permit for a proposed wind farm.
The supervisors imposed several conditions on the project, such as increased setback distances and completion of a noise analysis within 24 months after the structures are erected.
The commission held a public hearing on the project Tuesday but decided to delay a vote on a conditional use permit until it could be determined whether the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, which operates the nearby Cowboy Trail, should have been informed of the meeting.
“Your (Antelope County) zoning regulations, regulating wind energy systems, were clearly drafted by developers,” said Hunzeker. “They do not, in my opinion, adequately represent non-participating property owners. In my opinion, this application should be placed on hold and should be sent back to the planning commission, pending a review of your ordinance for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of non-participating property owners.”
Board member John Hill reiterated safety concerns previously expressed during numerous public hearings ...“As far as the study on the sound and the effects on humans, I guess at this point I’d rather be on the conservative side with the lower dBA. At some point in time you might look back and say well this doesn’t have to be this restrictive, but it will evolve. I think over time you will see some effects there.”
“When it’s all said and done and the suits are all gone and the pockets will be lined, where does that leave us?” asked JoJen Allder of rural Cortland. “We’ll be surrounded by these noisy, ugly turbines with lower property rights and health issues. I want to be able to live and retire in my home, work in the garden, fish in the pond and gaze at the stars.”
Some area residents used the informational meeting to express their displeasure with the first phase of the wind farm project. “If this project is so wonderful, why was it done under the table?” asked Charles Moser.
Area residents concerned recently-recommended wind energy regulations aren’t restrictive enough spoke at the Gage County Board of Supervisor’s meeting Wednesday. Five people spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting, all in favor of more restrictive regulations.
The Gage County Planning Commission has forwarded revised regulations governing wind farms, to the county’s board of supervisors. Following a public hearing last night, the commission agreed to establish a sound limit on wind turbine noise affecting non-participating landowners in a project, at 47 decibels, with leeway for ambient sound.
In October, after six townships passed regulations limiting wind turbine development, the County Board sent a letter to notify all of the county’s 17 townships that the new regulations exceeded the townships’ authority. ...Even though the County Board and the townships are at odds on the policy, there doesn’t appear to be any pressing need to settle the matter.
A nearly yearlong effort to update wind regulations in Lancaster County ended Tuesday when county leaders approved regulations that wind-energy supporters say will discourage projects in the county. County commissioners Roma Amundson, Deb Schorr and Larry Hudkins approved the regulations, while commissioners Bill Avery and Todd Wiltgen voted against them.
In a vote that could affect wind farm development elsewhere in Nebraska, the Lancaster County Board on Tuesday adopted tough new noise restrictions on wind turbines. The restrictions prohibit wind turbines from generating more than 40 decibels of noise during the day — about what’s generated by a household refrigerator — as measured at nearby residences.
Lancaster County now has new restrictions regarding wind farms and potential wind energy projects. The Lancaster County Board voted 3-2 for more restrictive regulations on Tuesday. Volkswind, a German Independent Power Producer, is attempting to build more than fifty wind turbines in Southeastern Lancaster and Gage County.
County health officials said that due to “gaps” in knowledge about health impacts, the county should be conservative in its regulations. It suggested limits of 40 decibels during the day and 37 decibels at night for wind turbines, as measured from nearby dwellings. That compared to a recommendation by the county planning commission of 50 decibels during the day and 42 decibels at night.
Several members of the Lancaster County Board have expressed support for strengthening wind-energy regulations beyond a current proposal.
Several Lancaster County commissioners said Tuesday they were concerned the Planning Commission’s recommendations don’t go far enough to protect landowners who aren’t planning to lease their land to wind-energy companies. ...Scott Holmes, environmental health manager for the Health Department, said wind turbine noise can cause physiological reactions, including loss of sleep and increased heart rates and blood pressure.
The Butler County Board of Supervisors went on the record Monday in regard to recent regulations that six townships passed regarding wind energy development. County Attorney Julie Reiter, who advised the board on the issue, said it was not a question of whether the County Board supported or opposed wind energy development.
Meanwhile, at least two Lancaster County commissioners said they are concerned proposed wind energy regulations they are to consider later this month won’t do enough to protect landowners from being negatively affected by wind turbines.
Over the past two weeks, voters in six Butler County townships overwhelmingly approved regulations for wind energy development, but whether the restrictions will stand remains to be seen. On Monday, Butler County Attorney Julie Reiter said she doesn't think the townships have the authority to enforce regulations that amount to zoning.
The regulations were drawn up by the Bohemian Alps Wind Watchers, a group of concerned citizens that was organized when wind development plans became known last spring. Lincoln attorney Greg Barton, who was advising four of townships as well as the Wind Watchers, countered Levy’s argument, stating that state law does not preclude townships from taking action regarding their property and access to roads. Both agreed that the issue wouldn’t be settled at the township level meetings.