Counties Wading Into Discussion on Solar Energy Regulations

BEATRICE – Two southeast Nebraska Counties are in the first stages of developing regulations that will govern solar energy projects.  Up to this point, wind energy regulations have taken up a great deal of county commission time.

Gage County Zoning Administrator Lisa Wiegand provided some background information to commission members Tuesday night, that could be used in developing rules.

:28                  “go through it”

The Jefferson County Planning Commission recently denied a permit application for a solar project, in favor of having more time to develop regulations that govern such projects.

Jefferson County Zoning Administrator John McKee says the permit application was filed by David Schnuelle, under the name of Oregon Trail Solar Farms, LLC.  Wiegand attended two nights of hearings held by the Jefferson County commission on that project.

:24                  “commercial operation”

Tuesday night, the Gage County Planning Commission approved clarifying language in county zoning regulations regarding non-agriculture development coming into areas intended for agriculture use.  Commission Chairman Dennis Rosene says it’s difficult to write language into regulations that satisfy sometimes opposing development interests.

:34                  “problem, language”

The Gage County Board had requested that the commission take a second look at regulations that advise non-ag development projects the impacts they may face, in areas where farming is the primary practice.

Gage County also provides a pamphlet to developers proposing projects in agriculture-zoned areas, advising them about the impacts of agriculture they may encounter.

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