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Campbell County considers zoning amid wind farm proposal

August 4, 2018

MOUND CITY, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota county commissioners are considering adopting temporary zoning rules amid a proposed wind farm expansion.

Campbell County Commissioners approved a $5,000 contract last month with the Northeast Council of Governments to prepare zoning and ordinance regulations, Aberdeen American News reported . The move follows energy company ConEdison’s proposal to expand its 55-turbine wind farm in the county, adding 39 more turbines.

Residents at a recent commission meeting voiced concerns about health issues, noise and setback distances associated with the expansion proposal.

“ConEdison is in the process of getting landowners to sign contracts for possible wind tower development,” county commissioners wrote in the meeting’s minutes. “At this time there is not a definite layout of the towers’ locations due to not having all the land contracts completed, and studies will need to be conducted on the area of the tower sites to determine viable locations.”

A ConEdison spokeswoman declined to comment on the expansion.

The county is considering a temporary zoning ordinance, which would allow commissioners to set zoning control for a year, said Commission Chairman Scott Rau.

“We want to have the ability to set our own boundaries,” Rau said. “We have to start somewhere.”

He clarified that the zoning ordinance isn’t intended to be “just wind-oriented.”

“We want to have zoning ordinances in place so they can’t just put it wherever they want to,” Rau said. “We have no regulations at all.”

Republican Rep. Spencer Gosch of Glenham said commissioners aren’t in support of or against the wind farm.

“They were trying to get the feel for what the community wanted and what the public thought,” Gosch said. “There was a substantial amount of residents from Campbell County who were there because they were concerned about what little information they had about what was going on.”

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com

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