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Tehama County Supervisors extend wind, solar ordinance public hearing

Red Bluff >> A public hearing on a new ordinance that started Tuesday at the Tehama County Board of Supervisors regarding energy systems has been extended 60 days to allow further public comment.

The county is in the process of putting together an ordinance regulating wind and solar energy systems in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The draft was passed by the planning commission, however, during the time between its passage and being brought before the supervisors, a resident raised concern with the rules, particularly the prohibition of a system without a 1,000 foot setback in an R-1 residential zone, Planning Director Sean Moore said.

“There are about 9,500 parcels in an R1 zone,” Moore said. “Of those 7,477 of them are less than 10 acres. We didn’t realize how many parcels couldn’t have even a small, which is defined as 80 feet tall, tower.”

Due to this issue, Moore asked the board to extend the public hearing in order to allow those who might be affected to speak up.

“We will now have standards and it’s a good thing,” Moore said. “We want to make sure the stakeholders have enough time to comment.”

The ordinance is meant to minimize the negative impacts on neighboring properties, implement state and federal law and ensure the orderly development of a diversity of land uses within the county, according to the staff report.

The draft as it stood Tuesday had certain zones not allowed to have an energy system if they were less than 10 acres and restricted wind energy systems and dual purpose wind energy systems to one per premises. Wind power facilities would be approved by the Planning Commission during the permit process. Anything more than 80 feet tall would require a permit, Moore said.

A portion of the ordinance dictates location. It says wind systems should be in the rear yard portion of a lot where permitted unless approved by the Planning Director or Planning Commission.