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County poised for wind farm development

Staff writer

There are people interested in wind farms in Marion County.

County zoning administrator Bobbi Strait told Marion County Commission Monday that the county’s zoning regulations regarding wind turbines needed to be reviewed and updated.

However, before Marion County Planning Commission does that, Strait said she wanted to review at least one proposal so the regulations can be updated one time instead of numerous times when proposals are received.

Strait said she received an e-mail from Rex Savage who expressed his concerns regarding the wording of the regulations. The deadlines in the regulations are unreasonable because they are impossible to meet, Strait said.

The planning commission has to provide a conditional use permit but before a conditional use permit is accepted, the CUP states construction has to be completed within 24 months.

“There may be only one chance to develop a wind farm and I don’t want the county to have stumbling blocks to prevent it,” commissioner Randy Dallke said.

Strait said she has had inquiries in the northern part of the county and by Florence.

“The planning commission is easy to work with and understand the need to modify the regs,” Strait said.

Dallke asked if Savage had appeared before the planning commission. Strait said he had not. Dallke suggested Savage be contacted and be placed on the agenda for Thursday night’s planning commission meeting to discuss the regulations and Savage’s plans.

In other department business:

  • The commission discussed a zoning situation regarding one man owning a property at 2871 230th Road but had family members living on and owning structures on the property. It was determined that the property owner(s) needed to have the property surveyed and re-zoned suburban residential. Currently it is zoned agriculture and residential agriculture.
  • A 15-minute executive session was held with Strait for personnel reasons. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

Last modified Oct. 29, 2008

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