Articles filed under Zoning/Planning

HB 1381 passes senate committee with amendment; Huhn calls it 'acceptable'

The Utility Committee seems to have heeded Huhn’s word. Senator Mark Messmer drafted what was referred to as Amendment Three, significantly changing the bill. This amendment grandfathers in counties that have more restrictions on renewable energy systems than the standards in the bill, like Henry County’s current wind energy conversion systems (WECS) ordinance. This amendment also reduces the noise limit a wind turbine can make to 50 db (it was higher in the original draft) and increases setbacks from municipalities and state parks to one mile. But most notably, the amendment does away with mentions of home rule, and changed the appeals process – instead of appealing to the IURC, complaints would be filed with the local circuit courts. This was done in an effort to keep more local control.
3 Apr 2021

Decision on controversial wind-energy project in Shasta County could come soon

Decision time for a controversial wind-turbine project proposed in eastern Shasta County could come later this spring. But where the public hearing before the Shasta County Planning Commission will be and how many people will be permitted to attend, if it’s an in-person meeting, has not been determined.
29 Mar 2021

Plan to limit turbines riles growing Kansas wind industry

State Senate Utilities Committee Chairman Mike Thompson said Wednesday that he is trying to protect landowners who fear that a proliferation of large turbines in their rural areas will drop property values and harm their quality of life. Thompson, a conservative Shawnee Republican, is pursuing a bill that would impose statewide regulations limiting turbines to one per square mile and keeping them 1.5 miles from any home or public building.
24 Mar 2021

Anderson County property owner compares wind farms to menacing strip clubs, landfills

Anderson County resident Mike Burns ripped pages of his prepared speech in half Monday to speak from the heart about why Kansas had to pass a law regulating placement of wind farms to protect property rights and bring peace of mind to folks in rural areas attractive to developers. Burns joined dozens of people at the Capitol eager to testify on behalf of Senate Bill 279, which would establish state-crafted regulation of wind generation facilities from the turbine to power line. It would replace county commission preferences for or against wind farms with state law defining turbine setbacks from businesses, parks, homes, property lines and much more. The maximum density would be one turbine per square mile, well below the current standard. There would be caps on sound and light emitted by turbines that sometimes reach 500 feet into the sky.
22 Mar 2021

Hearings set on planned wind farm just south of Tri-Cities

Opponents of the wind farm have started an online petition. They also have started a GoFundMe fundraiser called “Save Our Horse Heaven Hills” that has raised more than $5,000. “We are in danger of losing the natural beauty of this unique geological feature with majestic ridges, rolling hills, and steep slopes contoured by ice age floods,” says the fundraiser organized by Barry Bush, a Benton PUD commissioner, to raise public awareness.
16 Mar 2021

30-plus counties hit the brakes on wind farms. Indiana may soon blow that up.

During the last decade or so, counties have exercised this power in regard to wind and solar development. County commissioners in over 30 Indiana counties, such as Boone, Marshall and Pulaski, have passed ordinances that restrict or ban industrial wind. These bans and ordinances are the result of months and even years of study and public input and reflect the will of the people in those counties. ...Enter Ed Soliday, a state representative from Valparaiso, who is the author of HB 1381, which establishes statewide standards for siting of wind and solar installations. If passed, this bill would invalidate all existing county ordinances and moratoriums. The House approved the measure by a vote of 58-38 on Feb. 17, and the Senate began consideration of the bill March 1.  
10 Mar 2021

Renewables bill pits locals against state

A bill clearing the path for renewable energy in Indiana at the request of the businesses community has split both major parties and pitted local counties against the bill’s erosion of “home rule.” The bill sets standards for siting solar and wind farms but allows counties to permit and review the process. However, if a county denies a company that meets these standards, a company can appeal to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
26 Feb 2021

MI Appeals Court Concluded Interim Zoning Ordinance is Valid and Not Subject to Referendum, and Dismissed Lawsuit by Solar Developer

An interim zoning ordinance put in place by the Township of Benton blocked the construction of a large-scale solar array, proposed by the Sandstone Creek Solar, LLC (“Sandstone”). ...The court went on to explain that the legislative purpose of interim ordinance is “[t]o protect the public health, safety, and general welfare … during the period required for the preparation and enactment of an initial zoning ordinance,” and for this purpose interim ordinances are allowed to take immediate effect. Such purpose would not be fulfilled if interim ordinances could be automatically suspended upon the filing of a referendum petition. 
13 Feb 2021

APEX, anti-wind union still waiting on Republic Wind Farm decision

A decision appeared imminent on APEX Clean Energy's Republic Wind Farm in 2019, as the Ohio Power Siting Board held a series of hearings on the controversial wind energy project and heard heated testimony from residents and company officials. Instead, members of the Seneca Anti-Wind Union (SAWU), APEX officials and local residents still are waiting to see, almost two years later, if up to 50 wind turbines will be built in Seneca County and a small portion of Sandusky County.
12 Feb 2021

https://www.windaction.org/posts?p=4&topic=Zoning%2FPlanning&type=Article
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