A public hearing for the Planning and Zoning comprehensive plan, in the works for about a year according to director Lyle Weber, was held at the June 26 Board of Commissioner’s meeting.
The hearing was held just after three metrological towers were approved just outside of Tobias. The towers are being built by APEX Clean Energy in order to gather wind pattern data in hopes that a wind farm may be built within Saline County.
Seven residents of Saline or Lancaster counties urged the board to consider and reexamine the part Saline would play, with the wind farm being built less than a mile outside of the county lines. Those residents include Pam Wakeman and Ken Tesar of Lancaster and Dave and Jackyn Bishop of Saline County, Jack Sukovaty of Saline County, Dennis Broz of Saline County and Larry Brydl of Saline County.
“It’s going to affect a lot of people in Saline County in many ways,” Tesar said.
Some of those ways include increase in traffic, population and safety regulations and concerns.
The wind farm is set to be located at 13350 W. Wittstruck Road, owned by Randy Essink of Cortland, who applied for the permit.
The board also heard concerns from Saline County residents about the potential wind farm and towers within county limits.
Requests were heard for the regulations of an increased distance for the wind towers with a suggested distance regulation at anywhere from 1,400 feet to half a mile.
The approved regulated distance had been adjusted from 1,000 to 1,200 feet previously.
“We want to make sure that Saline County is at the forefront of new development in the county but also preserving your prime agricultural land,” Keith Carl, community planner at Hanna-Keelan Associates based in Lincoln, said during the hearing.
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