SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Dozens of people packed the basement of the Woodbury County Courthouse Tuesday night as supervisors heard public feedback regarding setback guidelines for the development of commercial wind farms in the county and there was plenty of feedback.
“You try and make everybody happy, good luck,” said one resident.
Last year, supervisors signed off on a commercial wind farm ordinance that established a required setback distance of 1,250 feet from public and private property.
After hearing complaints, the board began adjusting the ordinance and heard comments on a proposed minimum setback of 2,500 feet.
“I think it should be up to MidAmerica and each farmer as to the decision if they should be on their farm,” said one resident.
“I’m going to be putting a tower within 1,250 feet of my house and it’s not just about the money. The whole country needs wind turbines,” said another resident.
“I just believe that if we put a lot of these wind turbines up in Woodbury County that we are leaving the county better,” said one woman who spoke in favor.
“Woodbury County is here with me and here in my hand, I have over 720 signatures of residents of Woodbury County and they ask to amend the setbacks to 2,500 feet or greater,” said another resident.
No official vote by supervisors was recorded, but following public comment, the five members were aligned 3-2 in favor of extending the setback guideline.
“To put it bluntly and I think your engineer’s drawings confirm this, a 2,500-foot setback would just wipe out any buildable land in the county,” said Adam Jablonski of MidAmerican Energy.
Two additional public hearings will take place before supervisors vote on the setback with the next meeting set for August 16.