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Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh, who serves on the Area Plan Commission ordinance committee, asked that a draft of a law be submitted in the near future that would ban large wind farms in the county. Area Plan Commission Director Sally Fahey said the entire committee wanted the proposed ordinance drafted.
The commissioners did, however, address the topic of a signing a moratorium resolution, which would put the project on pause for 60 days. At last week’s meeting, it was requested by Will Eisenbise and Brad Lueger – two representatives for the concerned citizens group of Nemaha County – for the commissioners to give a response to the moratorium resolution in one week. Scoby said that the commission will not be making a decision on a moratorium yet.
GIBSON CITY — The more-restrictive setbacks and other new regulations for wind farms currently under consideration by the Ford County Board could make it “extremely difficult, if not impossible,” for Apex Clean Energy to build its proposed 250-megawatt Ford Ridge Wind Farm in the Gibson City and Sibley areas, a company representative said Thursday. However, J.J. Stone, a project manager for the Charlottesville, Va.-based firm, said that even if the board approves the new rules, a smaller version of the wind farm could still be built.
Commissioner Tom Murtaugh said an updated ordinance would put those worries to rest. "A change in the overall county ordinance that states that large wind systems will no longer be allowed in Tippecanoe County," he said. If passed landowners would still be able to put in wind turbines, it would just ban industrial wind farms.
According to the decision filed Jan. 30, the board found that overall, Atlantic Wind failed to produce sufficient evidence and did not show that the project would comply with the Penn Forest Zoning Ordinance. The application sought to construct 28 nearly 600-foot-tall industrial wind turbines in the township.
Opposing sides for a proposed wind farm in DeWitt County say they are prepared for up to 35 hours of scheduled meetings before the Zoning Board of Appeals, beginning Tuesday night at Clinton High School. “It’s going to be a long month,” said Andrea Rhoades, a rural DeWitt County resident who opposes the project.
Terry Madson is from Nuckolls County and belongs to Preserve Rural Nebraska. His county in south-central Nebraska, he said, has no zoning, and some of those that do created zoning before anyone was thinking of wind turbines. Other county zoning may not have taken into consideration escalating tower heights, larger generators, more noise and shadow flicker because of size changes. The bill gives those counties and others in the state the chance to get current, Madson said.
During the summer of 2018, Campbell County Commission discussed a possible need of a wind farm ordinance, Since that time, the county held no hearings or workshops that would provide the public an opportunity to comment on the new law. The only scheduled public hearing is set for February 7th, 2019 where the County will present the ordinance. Attorney David L Ganje has expressed concern that the County is rushing the process and, in doing so, failing to allow for a free exchange ideas about the wind farm ordinance. In August, 2018, Attorney Ganje recommended the commission convene several formal and informal public meetings and hire experts in order to deliver a well-crafted ordinance.
Representatives of a proposed electric generation project assured spectators Thursday evening that property values would not decrease and noise would not be a major issue. ...An audience member cited a report with a negative impact of 25 to 40 percent. Project opponent LeRoy Burk provided the report, which was reviewed by Neosho County Appraiser Bob McElroy, who said there would be an impact but he did not agree with a specific amount.
With 10 of its 12 members present, the board voted 9-1 in favor of a proposal to restrict wind turbines from being built any closer than 2,250 feet from a property line. The measure, part of a larger package of ordinance revisions that will be up for approval once finalized, is designed to protect rural residents from the low-frequency noise and shadow flicker, among other nuisances, that turbines can create.
Ford County Board members spent two hours Thursday debating how to protect rural residents living around wind farms from nuisances that can be caused by wind turbines, such as low-frequency noise and shadow flicker.
Rath and others who are concerned about the Nebraska Public Power District's R Project power line and the wind farms that are popping up across the land — and the whooping cranes — have found a champion in the Nebraska Legislature. Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon has taken up their cause with proposed legislation and advocacy, working from his Capitol office in Lincoln.
Apex Clean Energy, the developer of the Neosho Ridge wind energy project, on Wednesday released a lengthy economic impact report.
The Regional Planning Commission voted 3-1 with two abstentions Tuesday night against a positive recommendation after Lenexa, Kan.-based Tradewind Energy Inc. laid out its case for the first wind farm in DeWitt County. The commission is charged with deciding if a proposed project meets the goal of the county's comprehensive plan. The Zoning Board of Appeals will also make a recommendation and forward it to the DeWitt County Board for a final vote.
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.
“It’s understanding what Garden and Fairbanks township have been through and what the county has been through and trying to get ahead of the game. There’s nothing imminent. We haven’t had any wind turbine folks approach the city — at least not that I’m aware of,” said Kel Smyth, who chairs the planning commission.
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.