BEATRICE – The Gage County Planning and Zoning Commission continued its review of wind energy regulations Tuesday night, reaching consensus on a few recommendations.
One area where the commission will wait for more information is on potential wind tower setbacks from public use areas, like parks and lakes.
Assistant Lower Big Blue NRD Manager Scott Sobotka says that topic came up during consideration of wind farms in Saline County, though later in the process for the NRD.
“The NRD certainly claims no zoning authorities. We are neither pro or anti-wind development. We definitely remain neutral on that topic. The lessons learned in Saline County, it would have been nice to be involved earlier in the process. As the project started up, we were then approached during construction as far as easements with our flood control projects, distances from our public use areas. It just would have been nice to be a part of that process, from early on.”
Sobotka said earlier discussion could have answered some questions regarding easements for towers or electric lines over public use areas.
There are several public use areas under the jurisdiction of the Lower Big Blue NRD in Gage County, while others are under the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Gage County Zoning members say they will also consult further with the Game and Parks Commission.
The Gage County Planning Commission reached consensus that wind projects have bonding in place before construction of a project begins, and consensus for a one-mile setback of towers from schools…from the nearest property line.
The commission reached consensus on a shadow flicker limit for turbine blades, capping at 30-hours per year and 30-minutes per day. The limits are pulled from Lancaster County regulations.
The commission tabled action on a setback from churches.
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