Library filed under Zoning/Planning
The discussion on the proposed Neosho Ridge wind project filled the courtroom at the Neosho County courthouse to capacity, but was less dramatic than previous commission meetings. A representative of Apex Clean Energy, developers of the project, had 30 minutes to make a presentation, then a representative of non-participating landowners had 30 minutes to present the opponents’ concerns.
The village board voted last month to send the resolution to the county board. The resolution states that the village opposes changes to the county’s wind-farm ordinance that were proposed on Nov. 1 by the county’s zoning board of appeals — in particular, those related to setbacks and turbine height limitations. The proposed changes are now being considered by the 12-member county board.
Since Dec. 1, when four newcomers joined the 12-member board, the board has already met in special session once to discuss the proposed changes to the county’s ordinance regulating wind farms. A second special meeting was scheduled for Dec. 20 but ended up being canceled due to some confusion that arose about whether the meeting was to be attended by all board members or just those who serve on the board’s zoning committee, Lindgren said.
Prior to the vote, the commission considered sending the matter back to planning and zoning, as requested by Pure New Energy USA ...“I think this has gone on long enough … I just don’t feel comfortable sending it back and creating more workload for our people,” said Commissioner Kathleen Jones, who made the motion to deny permits for the project.
Opponents of a planned wind generation facility in southwest Neosho County told commissioners Friday morning that the issue will go to court. They also pushed for an absent commissioner to vote on the measure. ...Some opponents said the developer, Apex Clean Energy, is moving ahead with the project until it is too late to prevent it.
MONMOUTH — The Warren County Board narrowly approved motions Tuesday to allow permitting of a wind energy project along the McDonough County border.
Ford County Board Chairman Bob Lindgren of rural Loda released a statement just hours before the meeting was to occur at the courthouse in Paxton, stating that the board will reschedule the meeting in January.
Hounsfield Supervisor Timothy W. Scee, however, said during a Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency meeting Thursday that he scheduled a public hearing to rescind the law in January. He also said his town board plans to create a separate wind law with guidance from the county planning office. “That mishap was totally my responsibility,” Mr. Scee said.
The Richland Town Board in November approved the measure, which places restrictions on wind turbine farms in the town based on factors including setback from properties, noise production, property value guarantees, environmental tests and decommissioning terms.
Main said the Schultes had to collect signatures from 15 percent of registered voters who reside in townships that fall under county zoning — 356 signatures in this case — in order for the county commissioners to consider the petition. Presque Isle County residents who live in cities or townships with their own wind turbine ordinances were not eligible to sign the petition.
His fellow commissioners rejected the attempt by County Commissioner Dan Deming on Tuesday to give more formal direction to the Reno County planning board before it takes up an anticipated application for the Pretty Prairie Wind Farm.
The ordinance the commission approved outlined in specific detail how Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) may be harnessed in the township. It sets limits on noise the turbines can make, and prohibits them from being placed in a location where they can create flickering light for residents.
Two other wind-farm developers gave the board a similar admonishment ...The developers were responding to a straw poll that showed all 12 county board members supported restricting wind turbines from being any closer than 1,640 feet from the property lines of any land not being leased to a wind-farm operator.
Resident Kristy Horsch presented a petition to the commission calling for a moratorium she said was gathered over the weekend – and contained more than 700 signatures. Of those signing, 534, or about three-fourths, reside within Reno County. The rest were near the county lines in Sedgwick and Kingman counties, who would also be impacted by wind turbines. She also handed the commission a separate 3-inch wide binder she said was an economic impact study by residents “that demonstrates a negative impact to the county with this project.”
The ordinance amendment affecting turbine use in the county was brought about by changes proposed by a group of local individuals including Jasper County Plan Commission President Gerrett Dobson, Scott Green and Steve Molenaar. The group’s goal was to provide what it has referred to as “adequate protection to those who choose not to participate in the White Post Wind Project.”
During a hearing Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court, Judge John Kennedy denied a motion by EDP for injunctive relief against Murdock Township's efforts to enforce wind-energy zoning in the township. Kennedy said EDP did not meet the burden of showing the requirements for a preliminary injunction.
According to court documents, the township's new zoning ordinance would make the development of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm impossible. As a result, EDP is asking the court for injunctive relief against the township's efforts.
Despite strong opposition from residents of southwestern Lancaster County, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission on Wednesday approved changes to the noise limits in its zoning code for wind farms. The change was sought by NextEra Energy Resources ...that is considering building a wind farm with up to 50 turbines in southern Lancaster and northern Gage counties.
The wind energy development company is looking at its options after the county ordinance was adopted ...Right now, she said, she doesn’t feel as if the current ordinance is something the company can develop any projects under. “We really feel like it was an attack on the wind development industry in general."
The board voted, 19-3, in favor of the ordinance, which included two amendments by County Board member Maureen Little to bring back the wind ordinance sections that originally mandated zero shadow flicker and stricter noise regulations. Two board members were absent.