Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from USA
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.
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.
The opponents got their way.
Controversy over the plan last summer prompted the county’s Board of Commissioners to put an 18-month moratorium on special-use-permit applications for wind farms to allow time for review of its 2012 Wind Energy Conversion Ordinance in light of changes in technology and health and safety standards.
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.
The Piatt County board has extended its moratorium on wind farm applications for another six months, keeping it in effect until about mid-March. A six-month moratorium was scheduled to expire in September, but the county has yet to finalize changes to its wind energy conversion ordinance.
The Hughes County Commission, taking pages from Hyde County, has amended siting requirements for wind energy towers in the county. Significant testimony both for and against the requirements was presented to Commissioners Monday night.
Linn County Commissioners on Monday extended a moratorium on the development of wind farms in the county until December 2021, saying the additional time would allow the county time to collect public opinion on wind development via an advisory vote or survey.
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.
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.
Limits on noise and shadow flicker would determine how close a turbine could be to a home — rather than set distances — in a draft of proposed commercial wind energy regulations reviewed by the Reno County Planning Commission last week.
“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.
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.
The restrictiveness of proposed new regulations for wind farms in Ford County has led to at least one wind-farm developer pulling its project from the county and looking to build elsewhere, according to Randy Ferguson, chairman of the county board’s zoning committee.
Invenergy, a developer of sustainable energy, spoke the Logan County Board this month about plans to develop a wind project in the county.
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.