Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Minnesota

Wind towers in Austin are on hold for now

Austin City Council members unanimously approved Monday an ordinance prohibiting the issuance of permits for constructing wind turbines used for generating electricity. The moratorium will give the time needed for city staff to finalize a draft ordinance establishing specific development standards for constructing such towers.
7 Jul 2009

Ordinance could kill Clay County wind project

Paul White has a keen interest in the public hearing set for 11 a.m. July 14 before the Clay County Commission, where an ordinance regulating small-scale wind projects will be discussed. White is president of Project Resources Corp., the company behind the Lakeswind Power Plant, a proposed wind farm that would include part of Clay County. ..."It could kill our project,” he said.
4 Jul 2009

State approves massive power line project

The massive power line project known as CapX 2020 has been approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The commission made one stipulation in its decision today: The line from Brookings, S.D. to the Twin Cities has to carry wind generated power. The lines will run between Fargo and Monticello, Brookings and the Twin Cities and the Twin Cities to La Crosse.
17 Apr 2009

County OKs list of issues over lines to planned wind farm

The Freeborn County commissioners on Tuesday accepted written comments gathered by the Planning and Zoning Department on a proposed transmission line to connect the planned Bent Tree Wind Farm to the Hayward electrical substation. As recommended by Planning and Zoning Director Wayne Sorensen, the commissioners resolved to consider public concerns in an environmental assessment to be done by the Planning and Zoning Department.
15 Apr 2009

Wind utilities push line upgrade

To meet Minnesota's goal of getting 25 percent of its electricity from clean renewable wind energy by 2025, the state's utilities would need to build a 345-kilovolt line between Granite Falls and Shakopee at a cost of $460 million, according to a study released Friday. The 125-mile line would replace a 260-kilovolt power line that is 60 years old.
4 Apr 2009

Stutsman County officials acting correctly on wind farm issues

Stutsman County officials should not be cowed by a wind developer whose business model condones theft of wind rights or be misled by a state legislator. They are to be commended for trying to protect landowner rights and safeguard the reputation of a growing and beneficial wind industry. If only our Dickey County Commission, the North Dakota Public Service Commission and the Legislative Assembly would show similar leadership.
27 Feb 2009

New Ulm PUC wind farm controversy continues

About 100 people showed up Monday, February 16 at the St. George Parish Center when the New Ulm Public Utilities Commission held a listening session to hear concerns of local property owners. This was the first public meeting held in Nicoillet County by the PUC about the controversial wind farm project. ...There seemed to be an aura of frustration as some had hoped their questions would be responded to at the meeting.
26 Feb 2009

Wind tower request goes to Stearns board

A Lynden Township landowner isn't giving up on his plan to put a wind turbine on his property near the Clearwater River. The township denied his request in July after neighbors protested that the tower would ruin their view and affect property values. But now Russ Pearson is taking his request to Stearns County, proposing to put the turbine in an area where the county has authority. The case is the first real test of Stearns County's land-use regulations since they were revised last year to encourage more small wind projects.
15 Feb 2009

Medina wind turbine approved amidst objections, support

As expected, Medina council members voted unanimously at their Nov. 18 regular meeting to approve the resolution to build a wind turbine in Medina at the Hennepin County Public Works Facility. ...Although only a handful of people attended the Nov. 18 meeting, in comparison to Nov. 5, it was clear that the subject of a wind turbine Medina still aroused controversy.
26 Nov 2008

Residents tilt at windmill, but Medina Council approves it

Despite opposition from numerous residents, Medina City Council members have unanimously agreed to welcome a 407-foot wind turbine to the town's rural landscape. Facing a crowd of 75 to 100 residents, about two-thirds of whom opposed the turbine, the council Wednesday night took "a fairly courageous'' stand in favor of the wind generator proposed by Hennepin County, said City Council Member Elizabeth Weir. ...The county will not build the turbine unless it can make enough from the sale of the electricity to pay for the turbine and operating costs and have some money left over to lower the county's electric costs, he said.
6 Nov 2008

Sparks fly at county over wind energy

The proposed county partnership aimed at building two wind turbines in Mount Vernon Township was discussed Tuesday, when questions from County Board member Marcia Ward generated gavel banging and a bit of controversy. ...Ward questioned the location of the proposed turbines, suggesting that other locations in the county might be better. She said that she hasn't had enough site-specific information or questions answered to make a good decision. She said that a number of constituents had contacted her with doubts about the plans and location, and questioned whether bids ought to be let on the contract.
5 Nov 2008

Meteorological tower gets approval; Nicollet County puts one-year moratorium on wind projects

By a 3-0 vote Tuesday, Nicollet County commissioners approved a request from New Ulm Public Utilities (NUPU) to erect a 198-foot meteorological tower in Lafayette Township. ...Earlier in the meeting, commissioners unanimously approved a one-year moratorium, effective immediately, on Nicollet County wind turbine projects. Beatty told The Journal the moratorium was created so commissioners could gather more data on the issue for the health, safety and welfare of county residents and ensure "we're doing the right thing." Speaking on behalf of concerned citizens, Jeff Franta read a petition against the project signed by 77 rural residents he said was sent to the NUPU Commission more than two months ago.
24 Sep 2008

Nicollet County panel OKs permit for meteorological tower

After more than two hours of discussion Monday night, the Nicollet County Planning and Zoning Advisory Commission approved a Conditional Use Permit for the New Ulm Public Utilities to erect a 198-foot meteorological (met) tower several miles southwest of Lafayette. The resolution came on a 49-11 criteria vote with 13 conditions. ..."I seriously believe you're seriously impacting the lives of many people here," he told NUPU. In their Findings of Fact criteria votes on 10 questions, Commissioners voted 4-2 that given the nature of the land, the requested use was not compatible with the general welfare, public health and safety, the surrounding area and will depreciate nearby properties.
16 Sep 2008

Property owners oppose wind project; Sign petition, meeting Monday

Dozens of Lafayette and West Newton Township property owners surrounding the New Ulm Public Utility Commission's planned wind farm have signed a petition opposing the project. Petition signers said they sent a copy of it to the Nicollet County Planning and Zoning Board scheduled to meet at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 15 in the Nicollet County Government Center. In Letters to the Editor of The Journal, "concerned area land owners and residents" stated they were not opposed to wind energy but think there are places better suited than their property.
13 Sep 2008

Proposed Woodbury wind turbine generates controversy

A proposed wind turbine outside the new East Ridge High School in Woodbury is in the planning stages. While it would mean big energy savings for the school, some nearby landowners don't want a turbine near their homes. The school, located on Bailey Road, will be open by fall of 2009. The plan is to build a 170-foot-tall wind turbine at East Ridge that would produce up to 70 percent of the school's electricity.
12 Sep 2008

Wind turbine project still up in the air

The landowners group will voice its concerns Monday at a Nicollet County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. In a letter sent to area media, the group said surrounding landowners, including those who have signed land-use leases with the New Ulm Utilities Commission, have opposed the project from the start. The letter stated the landowners entered into the leases only for fear of losing large portions of their crop lands to eminent domain procedures. "There are a lot of concerns and unanswered questions," said landowners group member Jeff Franta, adding that the group will wait until the meeting to air specifics.
3 Sep 2008

Wind energy project dominates Planning Commission talk

Two more "met" (meteorological) towers for the EcoEnergy wind power company were given initial approval by the Fillmore County Planning Commission during its monthly meeting Aug. 28 and will be passed along to the Fillmore County commissioners with a recommendation for approval. ...The requests sailed through the Planning Commission process as EcoEnergy representative Don Miller, of its new Harmony office staff, explained some project details and answered questions.
3 Sep 2008
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