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County working to define regulations for large-scale wind farm operations

The county’s sustainability office is working to figure out the next steps for any potential large-scale wind farm operations in Douglas County.

The office is asking county commissioners to extend a moratorium halting those operations, Douglas County Sustainability Coordinator Eileen Horn said in a memo to the board of commissioners. The current moratorium is set to expire this December, and the sustainability office is asking to extend it to July 2016.

Commissioners will discuss the request Wednesday afternoon during their weekly meeting.

The moratorium was originally put in place when the county discovered a distinct lack of zoning regulations for large commercial wind development after a renewable energy development company applied with the county to install wind towers in November 2013, Horn said.

Since then, the county held one study session on wind energy development where they discussed the matter with developers, county staff and regional experts, but more work and direction is needed, Horn wrote.

If commissioners approve the extension, the office hopes to have new zoning and code regulations written and adopted by April or May before the moratorium is repealed in July, Horn said.

Also on Wednesday, commissioners will discuss the purchase of several vehicles and a brush chipper for the county’s public works department and consider a one-year extension for a conditional use permit for Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 25.

Commissioners meet at 4 p.m. each Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. The meetings are open to the public.

More information and a full agenda can be found online at douglascountyks.org/commission/meetings.