Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Wyoming
Current Albany County regulations are outdated and not stringent enough to accommodate the increase in height and volume of projected turbines, and obviously will not protect our residents, historic landmarks, or state parks. Other Wyoming counties have adjusted their regulations to evolve with the changes in the industry in order to protect their residents and natural resources. Citizens of Albany County deserve that same protection.
A planned wind development project around Tie Siding will have to wait for the Laramie City Council’s blessing, if that blessing ever comes.
RAWLINS — As scores of contract workers flock to Carbon County to help build several major energy projects, questions have emerged over whether the influx is a good idea amid the spread of COVID-19.
The moratorium was proposed in order to allow the commission time to examine the county’s wind energy development regulations and make changes to modernize them. The existing regulations were adopted in March 2009. The demand to look at the county regulations stems from a new potential wind energy development project called Rail Tie Wind Project.
The purpose of the moratorium, as expressed by the residents during the Feb. 12 meeting, is to give the county a chance to evaluate and revise its wind energy regulations. The matter of wind regulations arose as residents found out about the Rail Tie Wind Project. Powered by a Houston-based renewable energy company named ConnectGen, the project will be located on private and state lands near U.S. Highway 287 outside of Tie Siding — if the project passes federal, state and county permitting processes.
The saga of the two planned wind farm projects will continue into the spring, according to Carbon County Planning and Zoning Director Sid Fox. He said as much on Tuesday morning at the first Carbon County Commissioners’ meeting of 2020, when the board rejected the conditional use permit applications for the Lucky Star and Two Rivers wind farms.
RAWLINS — The saga of the two planned wind farm projects will continue into the spring, according to Carbon County Planning and Zoning Director Sid Fox.
The Commission had earlier been approached by Aaron Branam, project manager for EDP Renewables of North America LLC, regarding changes to the county’s land use plans pertaining to wind energy regulations. The commissioners were unanimous in their decision to not change the regulations, citing the welfare of the county’s citizens, environmental impacts, and land values as factors in their decisions.
County Planning Director Sid Fox said a zoning permit is usually required to start construction on a wind farm, but said due to the fact the two were simply requesting to dig holes to beat the colder weather and to meet the requirement for the production tax credit, they did not need the permit.
Commission chairman Wally Johnson said that the new regulations will have a long-lasting impact and effect on Sweetwater County. He says the county took its time to get the regulations right because once wind farms are built they are there forever.
SWEETWATER COUNTY ZONING RESOLUTION SECTION 18 - WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS
The county first passed a moratorium to give staff time to draw up wind farm regulations, a requirement to fall in line with state laws. But the county’s rules are as of yet unfinished, and the moratorium was set to expire in late June.
Costello said the proposed amendments are based on small wind energy system regulations in other counties throughout the state and region. "They take into account current standards that are pretty much nationwide," he said. "It's nice to consider the rights of the person who wants to put up a wind tower, but it shouldn't be at the expense of the neighbors."
Citing the need for more information, the Albany County Commissioners have sent a proposed amendment to the county's regulations on small wind energy systems back to the county planning and zoning commission.
Person after person, many of who were members of the Northern Laramie Range Alliance, spoke against wind energy development in Converse County ...Kenneth Lay read a statement that said, in part, "I'm here today with many other citizens because the action you are considering is one of the most important in our recent history. It's important because industrial scale wind energy generation is transforming Converse County and not for the better."
Campbell County now has zoning regulations for wind farms, but the rules may not apply to the company planning to build the first wind farm in the county.
The Campbell County Commission has decided to take three more weeks to discuss wind farm zoning regulations before voting on emergency wind rules that it thinks will ensure safe and responsible wind energy development in Campbell County. The commissioners want to pass the wind farm regulations soon so they will be in place before construction starts in August on the first wind farm in Campbell County.
A House committee has advanced a bill to give counties permitting authority over wind farms and set minimum development standards for wind projects. The Minerals Committee approved the measure Friday morning and sent it to the full House.
The Wyoming Legislature might soon consider creating minimum standards for wind development statewide, a move that might have implications for future Cowboy State wind farms that could supply power to Colorado utilities. ...A Wyoming legislative task force on wind energy has recommended regulating wind development across the state because a lack of regulation could impact both quality of life and the environment, according to a task force report issued Nov. 1.
Amendments to Natrona County's wind energy regulations should avoid the disputes between landowners and developers that erupted earlier this year, county Development Department Director Blair Leist said Tuesday. "We have done what we could to make sure that doesn't happen (again)," Leist said.