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Green energy options spark new ordinances

"One of the things that we're looking at as a part of this overall rewrite is should we allow wind turbines? And if we do, how do we allow wind turbines within city limits?" said Spirit Lake City Administrator Mark Stevens. "We have the desire to help people move toward energy efficiency and sustainability, but we have to counter this with concerns over property values, aesthetics and safety"

As the City of Spirit Lake works on a complete rewrite of the community's zoning ordinances, special attention is being given to green energy options - particularly residential wind turbines and solar panels.

"One of the things that we're looking at as a part of this overall rewrite is should we allow wind turbines? And if we do, how do we allow wind turbines within city limits?" said Spirit Lake City Administrator Mark Stevens. "We have the desire to help people move toward energy efficiency and sustainability, but we have to counter this with concerns over property values, aesthetics and safety"

Stevens says ordinances regarding wind turbines and other green energy structures are currently being reviewed by the city's planning and zoning commission.

"We've started the process of rewriting our zoning ordinance," said Dwight Dohlman, Spirit Lake Public Works Director and Zoning Administrator. "We're looking at more sustainable types of applications in zoning."

Dohlman says the city's new zoning ordinance lists solar panels as a permitted use. In highway commercial and industrial zones, small private windmills are also a permitted use, however in most areas of the city, wind turbines will be an... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

As the City of Spirit Lake works on a complete rewrite of the community's zoning ordinances, special attention is being given to green energy options - particularly residential wind turbines and solar panels.

"One of the things that we're looking at as a part of this overall rewrite is should we allow wind turbines? And if we do, how do we allow wind turbines within city limits?" said Spirit Lake City Administrator Mark Stevens. "We have the desire to help people move toward energy efficiency and sustainability, but we have to counter this with concerns over property values, aesthetics and safety"

Stevens says ordinances regarding wind turbines and other green energy structures are currently being reviewed by the city's planning and zoning commission.

"We've started the process of rewriting our zoning ordinance," said Dwight Dohlman, Spirit Lake Public Works Director and Zoning Administrator. "We're looking at more sustainable types of applications in zoning."

Dohlman says the city's new zoning ordinance lists solar panels as a permitted use. In highway commercial and industrial zones, small private windmills are also a permitted use, however in most areas of the city, wind turbines will be an exception use.

"This means if someone wants to put a windmill on their property, it has to go through the board of adjustment," said Dohlman. "When this happens, notices go out to adjoining property owners and any homeowners within 200 feet... It gives them the opportunity to voice their opinions. It's a good idea just to hear concerns about how neighbors feel... We want to make sure everybody is a good neighbor."

Spirit Lake's new zoning ordinances are set to for public hearings in January and will likely be effective early this spring.

While Spirit Lake is nearing its first public hearing on a wind turbine ordinance, Arnolds Park is just beginning discussions on the topic. Arnolds Park City Administrator Ron Walker says the city is working with Northwest Iowa Planning and Zoning on a proposed ordinance and expects the issue to appear before the council again within a couple months.


Source: http://www.dickinsoncountyn...

DEC 30 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/23887-green-energy-options-spark-new-ordinances
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