Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Nebraska
Jefferson County is nearer to finalizing adjustments to laws governing wind farms. At a gathering of the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Committee held the night of Thursday, January 6, on the Jefferson County Courthouse, some adjustments to mentioned laws have been agreed upon. Others have been tabled till the subsequent assembly.
Most of those changes were proposed by board member Emily Haxby, who has spearheaded changes to the regulations this year, making them more restrictive. Some of her changes that were approved included extending the setback requirement for commercial wind turbines from two times the height of the turbine to one mile from the property line of a nonparticipating landowner and lowering an allowance that turbines can exceed the maximum decibel level for a limited amount of time from five to three decibels.
OPPD’s hoped-for solar farm near Yutan is headed to the Saunders County Board with a strike against it. On Monday evening, after two hours of public testimony, the Saunders County Planning Commission voted 5-1 against a conditional-use permit for the project. Commissioner Jake Mayer was the sole supportive vote. The County Board, which isn’t bound by the Planning Commission’s vote, is scheduled to take up the issue May 11.
The Planning Department recommended reducing the setback from a property that is not part of a project from 5 times the height of the turbines to 3½ times the height. The department did not recommend changing the noise levels, however, as the city-county Health Department has not had time to do any studies that would show evidence to warrant a change.
Brewer also introduced a bill that provides and changes zoning requirements for wind energy generation projects, a major issue in his district. “That simply establishes certain requirements that every county has to have when it comes to wind energy. ...Brewer added that it didn’t prevent wind farms, but it did force counties with no zoning to create zoning.
The extension gives more time for the county’s planning and zoning commission to discuss potential wind energy regulation changes. Last year, the Gage County Board approved increasing the setback for wind turbines from homes, to one mile, after considerable feedback from rural residents in northern Gage County.
But County Board Chair Sean Flowerday said at the time that if the county didn't see any permits come forward in a year's time, he would revisit the regulations. That's exactly what the board intends to do, Flowerday said Tuesday.
The County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved extending the moratorium on permit applications for wind turbines that was initially passed in July. The board now wants the Planning and Zoning Commission to take a closer look at the regulations before again accepting permits.
Northern Gage County residents won a long battle today, as the Gage County Board approved an amendment increasing the setback between wind turbines and non-participating rural homes, to one mile.
The amendment increases setback requirements from nonparticipating residences from 3/8 to one mile. Nonparticipating residents are those who do not have contracts in place with a wind company. The Gage County Planning and Zoning committee previously approved the resolution in a 6-1 vote in August, after a six hour meeting.
Kendra Monroe, of rural Cortland, said an online survey indicated residents support the setback change. The five-question survey included 555 respondents, who did not have to give their names. "Out of those 555 responses, there were 490 residents...or 88.3%...who voted in favor of the one-mile setback...and 65 residents, or 11.7%..who were okay with the current setback".
The final public hearing was held Wednesday evening for a highly-contested proposal to change Gage County’s wind regulations, effectively ending plans for a wind farm in the northern portion of the county. The proposed amendment would increase setback requirements for commercial wind turbines from nonparticipating residences from 3/8 of a mile to one mile.
Setting clear zoning that allows communities to capture the full benefits of wind energy development without burdening residents is key to bring clean energy and new economic opportunities to rural America.
It’s a controversial project…one that ultimately will be decided by the Gage County Board, if a permit application is filed. A proposed wind farm in northern Gage County could be constructed, but first, county officials will deal with whether or not the wind tower setback requirement from non-participating rural homeowners will be increased, to one mile.
A group of Gage County residents is one step closer to getting setbacks increased for commercial wind turbines after a proposal was approved by Gage County Planning and Zoning Thursday evening. The proposal, which would increase setback requirements from nonparticipating residences from 3/8 to one mile, will now be considered by the Gage County Board of Supervisors for final approval. Nonparticipating residents are those who do not have contracts in place with a wind company.
The Gage County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-1 to recommend that the setback distance between wind towers and non-participating rural homes be increased from the current three-eighths of a mile, to one mile. The proposed amendment also calls for independent testing regarding sound levels produced by wind farms.
Permits for wind energy will not be accepted by Gage County after the Board of Supervisors approved a moratorium on turbine meetings during Wednesday’s meeting. The moratorium, initially proposed two weeks ago for a period of four months, was amended before approval this week and will now last for the next three months. ...A primary concern is increasing current setback requirements that stipulate turbines must be 3/8 miles from residences. The group is asking that figure to be increased to one mile.
On the agenda for the board's meeting is a moratorium that would prohibit "... all applications, installations and projects involving wind energy systems until such time that the Board has amended regulations in place to ensure the protection of the public health, safety and welfare ..." of Dakota County citizens. ...The subject of a moratorium arose earlier this year as the county amended its zoning ordinances pertaining to wind energy systems, board chairman Martin Hohenstein said.
Gage County’s Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on possible wind farm rule changes, governing tower setback and noise limits. The commission voted 6-1 to move ahead with that step, hearing from a packed county board room during a public comment period, Tuesday night. Well over 100 people attended... in the county supervisors room, an adjoining room, the hallway outside and across the hall at the county clerk’s office.
Hamilton County Commissioners adopted a resolution that increased setback distances to wind turbines to two (2) miles when measured at the property line of non-participating landowners and limited audible sound (dB) to 40 dB (not to exceed) at the nearest non-participating property line from the hours of 8:00am to 8:00pm and 37 dB at the nearest non-participating property line during the hours of 8:00pm to 8:00am. The minutes to the meeting where the amendments were approved and the zoning ordinance can be downloaded from this page. A portion of the ordinance is provided below.