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Planning Commission looks at a trio of topics  

Credit:  By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy | News-Record | www.hometown-pages.com 22 August 2012 ~~

The Fillmore County Planning Commission met Aug. 16, addressing three topics.

The city of Ostrander has adopted its own zoning ordinance and as of Sept. 1 will no longer be zoned by the county. After that time, the Fillmore County Board will remove Ostrander from its ordinance

Ostrander joins other small towns in the county that have taken over their own zoning, with Whalan remaining as the only county-zoned town.

Commissioner Duane Bakke, also on the planning commission, recounted when he became a commissioner 14 years ago, Fountain, Whalan, Wykoff, Ostrander and Canton were among the towns for which the county performed planning and zoning duties.

Discussion also was held on the county’s Wind Energy Conversion Systems Ordinance, which governs whether a conditional use permit (CUP) is necessary for the installation of a wind tower on commercial or non-commercial land.

Discussion – including a look at how to address smaller (micro) wind towers – saw Fillmore County zoning administrator Chris Graves sharing a proposed ordinance.

New language was added during the discussion, adding the “micro” category as a permitted use. It also would prohibit wind tower use in the RA (rural ag) district. The Planning Commission made a motion to have a public hearing in September to add that new language.

The administrator showed the county could change the height of the tower to 75 feet and still allow for safe operation within certain situations.

Essentially, according to Graves and Bakke, the towers would have to meet setback and height requirements. Bakke observed that “you’re trying to make sure that it won’t interfere with air traffic, but a lot of silos are taller than 75 feet.”

Last on the agenda, the commission heard a request from Hidden Valley Campground owners Tom and Shelly Kraetsch, who wanted to add five new campsites and five camping cabins to their establishment.

Tom Kraetsch spoke to the commission, noting he had made provisions for all of the requirements set forth by the county, including sanitation, space and parking. His neighbor, Dale Loeffler, had already conversed with the Kraetschs about their plans to expand the campground and only asked that they provide signs for his driveway advising campers they should not enter the private drive.

The commission agreed on recommending the expansion to the county with the condition to put a sign where the campground driveway ends and Dale Loeffler’s driveway begins, stating that it is a private drive and there is no turn around area beyond that point.

Source:  By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy | News-Record | www.hometown-pages.com 22 August 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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