The Boone County Planning & Zoning Commission is looking to create zoning regulations for future wind farms, though no decisions have been made to allow one in northwest Boone County.
The Energy & Environment Commission met with the Planning & Zoning Commission during a work session Tuesday to discuss the future of regulating wind farms in the county.
E.ON Climate & Renewables is looking to develop a roughly 30,000-acre wind farm near Harrisburg, according to previous Missourian reporting.
The Planning & Zoning Commission would need to be involved in the future of this project, as current zoning regulations near Harrisburg were created for solely agricultural land, which would not allow large-scale wind farms.
Stan Shawver, the Boone County director of resource management, said Tuesday the Planning & Zoning Commission would likely create special-use or conditional-use permits for wind turbines. However, no plans between Boone County and E.ON have been made yet, and Planning & Zoning commissioners said they have no concrete information about the company’s plans for the wind farm.
“We do not have any applications. We do not have any details. All we have been able to do is do online research and look at different facilities in Missouri (and bordering states),” Shawver said.
Two wind farms are currently in operation in Missouri, both owned by different companies. They are located in Atchison County and Dekalb County. County Planning & Zoning researched those counties’ regulations to inform discussion at Tuesday’s meeting.
The main topic of conversation at the work session was the location of turbines in relation to residences or property lines. The Planning & Zoning Commission is leaning toward creating setback standards based on distance from the property line, Shawver said.
Greg Martin, planning & zoning commissioner for Katy Township, said he thinks residents should be able to choose between having the turbine set back from their property line or from their residence. If landowners see a better place for a turbine based on property line, rather than residence, Martin said he believes they have the right to choose where the turbine goes.
Harrisburg residents have expressed concern about potential noise issues from the turbines as well as taxes. These concerns were shared with E.ON representatives at an informational barbecue March 15.
Shawver said the Planning & Zoning Commission was confused about why E.ON is even considering northwest Boone County for a wind farm. He said Boone County’s population is 10 times larger than most other counties in Missouri and Boone County has a Planning & Zoning Commission while neighboring counties do not.
“Why would you go someplace you have to deal with regulations?” Shawver asked. “Our amount of puzzlement doesn’t change the fact that we need to come up with a logical, reasonable regulation.”
The Boone County Planning & Zoning Commission will discuss wind farms once again at its May 27 meeting.
Supervising editor is Kaleigh Feldkamp.
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