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SHOULD POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY RESTRICT WIND TURBINES? Residents speak out

Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 29, 2023
  • Pottawattamie County supervisors are considering updating the wind and solar ordinances for the county. The proposal for a new wind ordinance, which hasn't been updated since 2007, is getting a big reaction from county residents. In Oakland, the supervisors held a public meeting where they heard from the public.
  • The proposed ordinance would require turbines to sit a half mile from a residence and 1,500 feet from a property line.
  • There were concerns expressed about how an increase in turbines might affect the quality of life in rural areas and the impact the turbines could have on farming.
  • Those in favor of fewer restrictions on turbines — some who already have turbines on their land — say wind energy is an economic boon in the county and to farmers. Greater restrictions, they say, would hinder that economic boost.
Upcoming meeting in Oakland, Iowa about wind energy

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Wednesday night in Oakland, Pottawattamie County residents weighed in on a proposed wind energy ordinance.

I’m southwest Iowa reporter Katrina Markel and Pottawattamie County supervisors are considering, for the first time since 2007, updating the county’s wind energy regulations.

The proposal on the table from the planning and zoning board requires wind turbines to be set back a half mile from a residence and 1,500 feet from a neighbor’s property line.

Corey Vorthmann supports increased restrictions and raised concerns about the effect it (turbines) could have on aerial crop spraying.

“One of the biggest concerns I have as a farmer — as an agricultural producer — is the impact on agriculture production in our county.”

A woman whose family owns land with turbines opposed greater restrictions and says there are economic benefits (to the turbines).

“Think about it. Think about struggling farmers.”

Supervisor Tim Wichman says the issue is far from resolved and the board doesn’t have to take the proposal from the planning commission.

“We will probably do a few study sessions and come up with some – we may use those setbacks, we may change them, we may add other restrictions…”

It’s a balancing act.

“Quality of life and the quiet enjoyment of your property and still allow farmers to possibly put a turbine on their farm,” said Wichman.

Either way, Wichman says the ordinance has a long way to go before the supervisors make a final decision