March 6th P&Z WECS Meeting With Audio

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Iowa wind turbine with Buchanan County Seal.On Wednesday evening, March 6, 2024, the Buchanan County P&Z Commission met to discuss the Wind Energy Conversion System Regulations (WECS) along with the comments of Assistant County Attorney Joshua White, who was also in attendance. After reading through the WECS proposal, the floor was opened for public comment.

The audio of the meeting has been made available, along with a Table of Contents that shows the time where the most relevant changes in the WECS were discussed among the P&Z Commission. We have also included the comment section on the audio. We have highlighted a handful that will hopefully give you an idea of the general sentiments of the audience, however all of the comments are available on the audio. Of the people speaking in favor of having wind turbine fields, three were employed by NextEra. We will point these out as a matter of transparency. We hope this is of some help to those who could not attend the actual meeting. We apologize for the background noise, but it was a very noisy meeting with standing room only.

WECS Regulations Discussion

Topic Time
Preservation of Private Property Rights 4:19
Definition of Public Conservation Lands 16:52
Applicability, WECS must be zoned to “M” manufacturing 18:49
Acoustical & Shadow Flicker Third Party Analysis 21:40
District Regulations, Zoned “M” Manufacturing and 55 CSR or Lower (per County Attorney as above CSR 55 is not in accordance with County Ordinances) 27:25

WECS Setback Requirements

Topic Time
NonCommercial WECS 31:30
Commercial WECS 38:26
Meteorological Towers 43:10
Setback for Dwellings Shall be Reciprocal 47:27
Security of WECS 56:15
Signage Requirements for WECS 57:25
Impacts on Public Infrastructure (Roads, Bridges, etc) 1:00:00
Discontinuation & Decommissioning, 100% 1:03:22
Ownership/Management Changes 1:19:00

Other Applicable Standards

Topic Time
Noise Level, 50 Decibels 1:20:00
Interference (Radio, Cell Phones, etc) 1:20:45
Use of Eminent Domain 1:22:00
Insurance (General Liability Policy) 1:27:55

Public Comments

Of the people that spoke, the majority of Citizens were against wind turbine fields in Buchanan County. Several Citizens spoke promoting wind turbine fields, but most of them had signed leases with NextEra. Three of the pro speakers were employees of NextEra.

Again, the following is just a sample of the comments to give you an idea of the sentiments of the audience. We encourage you to listen to the entire recording.

Name Comment Time
Brad Lichty Believes P&Z is trying to control outcome to not allow wind energy in Buchanan County. 1:36:18
Rand Fisher Mr. Fisher introduced himself as “Rand Fisher, Clive, Iowa. I am speaking this evening in my role as the Iowa State Director of the Center for Infrastructure & Economic Development.” In reality, Mr. Fisher has absolutely nothing to do with the State of Iowa. Instead, the private company he represents is funded by NextEra. There are other Centers for Infrastructure & Economic Development in other states, also funded by NextEra, whose directors have been given the same title for their respective states. Transparency would have gone a long way. 1:48:54
Amanda Miller Supports setbacks to protect surrounding properties and 100% decommissioning. 1:56:14
Bob Cue New families and homes are a better option for economic impact than wind turbine fields. Delaware County is already feeling the negative impacts of wind turbines on neighboring homes. 2:01:48
Swati Dandekar Ms. Dandekar is chairperson of Bright Future Iowa, another company funded by NextEra to promote their products. 2:06:12
Dale Priebe Soil & water commissioners running into problems of renewable rush and promises not materializing. Retain soil integrity. 2:10:00
Kellie Corkery All property rights have limitations. IUB has eminent domain. 2:21:26
Tom Treharne NextEra representative. Said NextEra works hard with communities.
CSR 55 will kill project.

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I'm a freelance writer who has published multiple technical books. I'm also a long time resident of rural Buchanan County who owns and takes care of two rescue horses. I am interested in preserving our rural farm land for the future of both our children and our animals.

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