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Lawmakers seek to limit local moratoriums  

Credit:  By Heather J. Carlson, The Post-Bulletin, postbulletin.com 23 February 2012 ~~

ST. PAUL – A bill restricting how long a township, city or county can impose a temporary moratorium is headed to the House floor despite opposition from some township residents.

The House Government Operations and Elections Committee on Wednesday passed the measure 9-to-5 with Rep. Rich Murray of Albert Lea, voting in support of the bill.

At focus are projects such as wind farms and silica sand mines.

Murray said the process needs to be streamlined to allow projects that could provide needed economic development to move ahead.

“We need to give people a shorter time frame to know that their project is going forward or not going forward, because they are expending a lot of time, effort and energy,” he said. “And if we don’t want to do the projects here in Minnesota, there are other states that would be happy to do them.”

The proposal requires a two-thirds vote by a local council or board to impose a temporary moratorium. That moratorium would be limited to one year, with no option to extend it. The bill also speeds up the deadlines for reviewing permit applications. Once a permit request is received, township, city and county staff members would have 15 days upon to determine whether the application is complete. After the first regularly scheduled public meeting, officials would have 30 days to impose a temporary moratorium.

Read in Thursday’s print edition about the details of the bill and what comes next.

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Source:  By Heather J. Carlson, The Post-Bulletin, postbulletin.com 23 February 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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