Library filed under Zoning/Planning from USA
Author, journalist, film producer, and podcaster, Robert Bryce, maintains an extensive database of planning and siting activities throughout the United States where jurisdictions have acted to restrict or reject large-scale renewable energy facilities. The database contains information by jurisdiction (state, county, township) dating back to 2015. To access the database select the document link on this page.
I hope the Renewable Rejection Database will inject more realism into our politics and energy discussions. Energy realism is energy humanism. Energy realism requires accepting the reality that large-scale renewable projects are dividing rural communities all across America. Energy realism requires accepting the fact that we must stop subsidizing the destruction of our natural environment and our wildlife, with intermittent, weather-dependent sources of electricity that cannot — will not — be able to meet our energy and power needs. My other hope for the Renewable Rejection Database is that it will further debunk the claims that renewables are low-cost or somehow morally or environmentally superior.
The Local Government Committee’s hearing included testimony from a U.S. Department of Defense official who said statewide rules in Oklahoma had been helpful in preventing wind farm development from causing problems for military training activities. And while the Kansas Livestock Association has qualms about tougher zoning rules in rural areas and limits for some landowners, lobbyist Aaron Popelka testified, “We do think this is a good discussion.” “We do think some protections for nonparticipating landowners need to occur,” he said.
First and foremost, a town’s top priority is to make sure that its residents are safe. The state has provided this tool to Commonwealth cities and towns by way of local zoning powers. It’s clear Mayflower’s landfall in Falmouth Heights, transmission pathways through densely populated neighborhoods, and electricity conversion substations will have substantial and specific impacts. Yet, Falmouth’s local zoning control tool stands to be removed from its municipal decision-making tool box.
The City Council approved a special permit for the part of the solar farm in its jurisdiction in October 2019, but approval of the county portion east of 148th Street has been more controversial. That's because Ranger Power requested — and the County Board approved — a zoning change to allow solar panels on agricultural outlots, which are open spaces that are part of acreage developments in what are known as community unit plans. Previously, those lots could be used only for green space or agricultural uses such as growing crops or raising livestock.
Township board also negates its own recent vote regarding attorney presence
Jefferson County is nearer to finalizing adjustments to laws governing wind farms. At a gathering of the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Committee held the night of Thursday, January 6, on the Jefferson County Courthouse, some adjustments to mentioned laws have been agreed upon. Others have been tabled till the subsequent assembly.
Upon hearing input from some of the newest members of the Maple Valley Township Planning Commission, commissioners voted Thursday to make a number of more restrictive changes to a draft wind energy ordinance.
More than 70 people attended a four-hour marathon public hearing by the Henry County Board of Zoning Appeals on Thanksgiving Eve, and when it was over, requests from two solar energy companies to transform hundreds of acres of land in Axton into solar farms had been turned down.
It took two votes Wednesday, but the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission finally signed off on the second part of a large proposed solar farm east of Lincoln. Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve a special permit for Ranger Power to put solar panels on about 1,430 acres of land stretching from 148th to 190th streets and from O Street to Havelock Avenue.
Most of those changes were proposed by board member Emily Haxby, who has spearheaded changes to the regulations this year, making them more restrictive. Some of her changes that were approved included extending the setback requirement for commercial wind turbines from two times the height of the turbine to one mile from the property line of a nonparticipating landowner and lowering an allowance that turbines can exceed the maximum decibel level for a limited amount of time from five to three decibels.
The moratorium is scheduled to expire May 5 and is expected to give the Planning Board time to update the town’s outdated subdivision ordinance and draft regulations for commercial projects. The board wants to require a decommissioning plan and a visual impact assessment for solar and wind farms, according to officials.
The commission ended up voting 3-1 to approve a recommendation that the township’s board reject the ordinance they had spent months drafting. Horney, the sole no vote, said his opposition to the motion was merely procedural. ...The board ultimately rejected the solar rules at a meeting on Nov. 4, closing the door, at least for now, on solar projects in the township.
The moratorium began Oct. 19 and will be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 19, 2022, unless the commissioners find the six-month period too brief or too long, at which point it can be shortened or extended.
“I think we’ve found a set of regulations that allows wind farms to be developed in the county that meets the expectations of the citizens in terms of environmental protection and protection of private property values that could be impacted by wind farm development," Florea said. ...[T]he regulations limit the height of wind turbines to under 375 feet.
The wind ordinance review, which resulted in the county suspending issuance of permits for the Alta Farms II wind project, prompted Enel Green Energy to sue the county. A judge ruled the county did not have the authority to deny the permits. Most permits for the project had already been issued when the suspension was implemented.
After more than 10 hours of public comments, Shasta County supervisors voted 4-1 to deny an appeal by a company that wants to build a controversial wind farm in the Intermountain area just west of Burney. Tuesday night’s denial upholds the June 22 unanimous decision by the Shasta County Planning Commission to reject the use permit for the Fountain Wind project. Commissioners heard nearly 10 hours of public testimony before their vote.
The Reno County Planning Commission agreed Tuesday to set a Nov. 18 public hearing on proposed changes to both the county’s Comprehensive Plan and its zoning regulations to prohibit commercial wind development in the zoned portions of the county. Also to be taken up at that meeting will be a proposal to create an overlay district for the remaining non-zoned portions of the county that would enable the county to regulate wind in those un-zoned areas in the future.
The Planning Board is asking developers of a proposed wind turbine project on Reynolds Road to increase the planned setback distances from neighboring properties, but developers say that could result in a greater disturbance to wetlands and the removal of trees. Borrego Solar is seeking approval to construct a single 4.3-megawatt wind turbine on approximately five acres of leased land out of a roughly 191.6-acre parcel located at 411 Reynolds Road.
Monday, Circle Power announced it was amending its Scotia Wind Project to place all 12 turbines in Adams Township. The plan had been to put four 575-foot turbines in Adams and the rest in Stanton Township.Circle Power partner Chris Moore said Tuesday the project layout would not have been able to accommodate a 3,000-foot setback in Stanton Township, which he anticipated the township would put into place.