Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Iowa
During this week’s Clay County Board of Supervisor’s meeting, county supervisors shared information, updates and asked questions regarding concerns raised about wind turbines that were stated at a prior meeting.
During Tuesday's Clay County Board of Supervisor's meeting, county supervisors shared information, updates and asked questions regarding concerns raised about wind turbines that were stated at a prior meeting. Named the Upland Prairie Wind project, the proposed endeavor by Apex noted on its website that the project will produce 300 megawatts of energy, powering 102,000 homes. The wind energy project would see wind turbines in the northwest part of Clay County, around the townships of Waterford and southern Lone Tree.
Dennis Meyer referenced comments that were made in an article about the decision being about the money that will come into the county coffers. “You have given into the wind energy companies and allowed them to tell the county what works for them,” he said. “You have taken it totally out of the farmers and the property owners that are going to live around them. You also said you are doing what’s best for the majority of the county with no regard to adjacent landowners.”
The Muscatine County Board of Supervisors tabled action Monday on a proposed wind energy ordinance to give county officials more time to prepare regulations involving protection of farmland and county roads.
The planning and zoning commission is now in the process of writing up a recommendationon whether to keep the ordinance, change it to make the rules stricter or completely scrap the ordinance to ensure that no new projects are allowed.
Optimum Renewables, on behalf of Mason Wind LLC, withdrew its request for a special permit from Black Hawk County zoning officials to develop a site near Dunkerton before a hearing Tuesday night. The project faced heavy opposition from surrounding property owners.
Opponents said the turbines would take farm land out of production, lower surrounding property values, hinder farming operations and kill birds and other wildlife. Some were concerned about human health impacts.
INDEPENDENCE/FAIRBANK - On Wednesday, Aug. 2, Buchanan County Zoning & Planning Commission met at the Independence Public Health Building to discuss and vote on a request to rezone two parcels in Section 7, Fairbank Township, in proximity to Buchanan County’s Amish settlement. The request seeks permission from the Commission to rezone the site from A1 to A2 for the purpose of leasing out the land to Optimum Renewables for the construction of three small wind turbines at that location.
At 9:30 a.m. the public hearing regarding the Thomas and Kimberly Rourke rezoning request was held, to rezone 89 acres in Sections 6 & 7, Fairbank Township from A1 agricultural to A2 agricultural for the purpose of constructing three small wind turbines for a small wind energy development. ...most residents that were present for the hearing agreed with the zoning commission’s decision, to deny the request, citing health concerns, concerns for livestock and that fact that the site was too close to town.
The ordinance applies to any public or private solar, electrical, natural gas, propane, oil, fuel and energy providers that shall at a minimum provide an energy source or service to the public that's essential to the public health, safety and general welfare.
Now that Iowa now has more than 3,200 wind turbines and ranks No. 1 in the nation for the share of electricity coming from wind energy, counties are getting tougher about where turbines are built, how much noise they make and how much they disturb nature.
Applications for two proposed wind farms will go before the Story County Board of Adjustments at its meeting Wednesday.
On Jan. 1, a new Wisconsin state law took effect that wind energy advocates call an important step - and even a national model - for alleviating the chaotic and shifting patchwork of municipal and county siting regulations that can create great uncertainty and moving goalposts for wind developers.
Council member Brian Sokol told the Toledo City Council he was seeking input for an ordinance regulating wind turbines in the city of Toledo. ...the council voted to form a committee to research the topic of residential wind turbines and provide input for an ordinance to regulate them.
The amendment alters maximum tower height from 100 feet under the previous ordinance to 65 feet for lots between 1 acre and 3 acres in size, 80 feet for lots between 3 acres and 7 acres in size, and 100 feet for lots larger than 7 acres in size. It also specifies than any earthen berm, terrace or retaining wall used to elevate the turbine be considered a part of the turbine itself.
While interest in generating wind energy has grown among Iowa's urban dwellers, many are finding their local zoning regulations make it hard or impossible to install one. 'Some are opening up to 60-foot heights, so you can put a residential turbine in place, but it's still a battle,' said Rob Hach with Anemometry Specialists Inc.
The Plymouth County Zoning Board is shaping a county ordinance that will determine where and how wind turbines can be built and maintained. "The reason we're working on this is we think the county should have something in place before the windmill field and windmill companies come in and decide to build," said board chairman Ralph Klemme.
"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"
MidAmerican Energy won a battle Thursday over who will reap more power and profits from Iowa's wind. The Iowa Utilities Board approved the Des Moines utility's request to build wind farms producing 1,001 megawatts of power. The board rejected arguments that such an expansion would give MidAmerican an advantage over rival wind producers in attracting investors and would slow further wind energy development in Iowa.
No wind farms have yet moved to Plymouth County, but the county zoning board doesn't want to be caught unaware. The board met last Monday to start hashing out requirements should anyone propose to build a wind turbine farm in the county. ...The zoning board also discussed banning wind farms in the Loess Hills, an option several board members supported.