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Wind farm zoning change delayed  

Credit:  By Matt Olberding | Lincoln Journal Star | February 3, 2015 | journalstar.com ~~

The company that wants to build a wind farm in southern Lancaster County has withdrawn its application to change the zoning code.

Jeffrey Wagner, president of Volkswind USA, said his company pulled the application at the request of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department.

“They thought it would be better to have some more public engagement,” Wagner said.

The application, which had been scheduled for a public hearing at Wednesday’s Planning Committee meeting, seeks to amend the county zoning code to lower setback requirements and increase allowed noise levels, among other things.

Wagner said current county zoning laws function as a prohibition on wind farm development. The change would have applied to any wind farm development, not just the one proposed by Volkswind USA.

He said his company suggested the zoning amendment but that it was mostly written by Planning staff.

Volkswind USA wants to put more than 50 436-foot-tall wind turbines on 11,000 acres – 7,000 in southern Lancaster County and 4,000 in northern Gage County.

The plan has encountered significant opposition from people who live in the area, and the company in October put a hold on eight special permit applications it had submitted.

The Planning Department received nearly a dozen letters and emails in opposition to the amendment request and was expecting even more people to testify against it at Wednesday’s hearing.

Wagner said the level of opposition is not surprising and is something the company routinely encounters when proposing projects.

He stressed that the delays are just that, and said the company still plans to move forward on the project at some point.

Steve Henrichsen, the Planning Department’s development review manager, said it will likely be several months before a zoning amendment application comes before the Planning Commission again.

Source:  By Matt Olberding | Lincoln Journal Star | February 3, 2015 | journalstar.com

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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