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Joint Planning Board votes on wind energy

Towers taller than 200 feet will not be allowed in Acoma, Hassan Valley, Hutchinson and Lynn townships, following a Sept. 15 vote by the Hutchinson Area Joint Planning Board.

The board approved an amendment to the Hutchinson Joint Planning Area code adding “wind towers, electric generators and communications towers” to the list of conditional uses allowed in an agricultural district, subject to obtaining a conditional-use permit.

In addition, the code change set a 200-foot height limit on towers, “with setbacks from property lines or roads at the same (distance) as the height of the tower.”

A second item approved was a conditional-use permit requested by Andrew Cotter, a property owner on York Road south of Hutchinson, to build a 39.9-kilowatt, 185-foot wind tower on his land in Lynn Township. The permit was approved with the staff-recommended condition that the tower be removed and the land restored to its previous condition if the tower becomes inoperable for two years.