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Linn County supervisors vote for moratorium on big solar assignments

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Vote will come soon after supervisors Alright jobs close to Coggon and Palo

Linn County supervisors vote 3-0 for moratorium on large solar projects
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Linn County Supervisors (from still left) Stacey Walker, Ben Rogers and Louis Zumbach pay attention to general public comment in August in the course of a meeting of the Linn County Board of Supervisors to go over a solar farm venture in close proximity to Palo. (Nick Rohlman/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Immediately after this year approving controversial utility-scale photo voltaic initiatives near Coggon and Palo although turning aside suggestions from their employees for a moratorium, Linn County supervisors voted Monday on very first thing to consider to pause any extra at minimum until finally the close of the calendar year.

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The proposed moratorium would have been in effect for up to 12 months or much less if the code governing industrial solar installations in the county was up-to-date before then. As a substitute, the supervisors passed an amendment to let the moratorium to expire Dec. 31 until an extension is authorized by a resolution in advance of then.

The board ought to approve the pause right after 3 concerns, generating it probably the moratorium will acquire remaining approval this month.

The proposed moratorium would let the massive jobs by now accredited to proceed, but programs for new types could not be accepted right until the pause is in excess of.

“I imagine our code was a fantastic code a calendar year and a half ago and it continue to is,” Setting up and Development Director Charlie Nichols mentioned. “It’s just one of the most sturdy, but it isn’t going to necessarily mean we are unable to make it greater. We know we have much more assignments coming in the long term and we can exhibit we get these jobs quite seriously in this county.”

The county mentioned a 3-thirty day period moratorium would present a structure with check-ins on development. The Dec. 31 deadline also would allow for the existing Board of Supervisors to make your mind up on an extension just before a new board is sworn in this January immediately after the November elections.

“It lets our seated board to make that final decision since it could be a complete new board immediately after December,” Supervisor Chair Ben Rogers mentioned. “We have the knowledge, we ended up the kinds sitting by way of the conferences.”

The 2nd and third votes on the evaluate will take put Wednesday and Oct. 12. If the moratorium passes, the setting up and advancement section will generate critique committees to appear at precise regions of the renewable electrical power code, like setbacks, vegetation, screening, agrivoltaics — or co-locating crops with solar arrays — and battery vitality storage techniques.

Nichols explained he by no means believed a 12-month moratorium was desired, but he reported five months would be the fastest the ordinance could be up-to-date.

“I assume addressing battery power storage systems will take longer. … We haven’t truly dove into that and it seriously relies upon how long these diverse sections of code will get. There are none a lot more important to me than other people,” Nichols reported.

County staffers have twice advisable moratoriums, but these proposals ended up voted down 2-1, with Supervisor Louie Zumbach voting in favor while Rogers and Stacey Walker voted versus a pause.

The supervisors have authorised a few utility-scale photo voltaic jobs this year — one close to Coggon and two relevant ones around the decommissioned Duane Arnold Vitality Middle nuclear plant. The vote for just about every project was 2-1, with Zumbach opposed.

Progress on the 640-acre photo voltaic farm close to Coggon is on maintain though a courtroom resolves a lawsuit introduced in opposition to the supervisors by a household who lives close by. The day for that trial is not set, but is possible to transpire this drop.

Comments: (319) 398-8255 gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

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