The Cherry County Planning Commission met for a regular meeting Tuesday at the Cherry County Courthouse. The board heard about an hour of public comment before they started discussion on the report that will go to the Cherry County Commissioners. After nearly a 10 month effort to research three directives from the commissioners, the board has virtually finished. The directive from the commissioners was to look into land values near wind farms, a fire protection plan and to study the Lancaster County Health Study. A letter was presented to the board from certified general appraiser Mathew J Wilson stating that they researched land sales in the vicinity of wind farms in Nebraska and the surrounding states. While there is limited data currently available, it indicates that there is no effect on the value of adjacent agricultural lands by the presence of a wind farm. Area fire chiefs reported that they will not put out a turbine fire but will secure a perimeter and prevent the fire from spreading. The Lancaster County Health study was mostly inconclusive in several areas but did show a possibility that some people could be affected by turbines.
It took a few votes to recommend changes to the setbacks in the county zoning regulations. On a 5 to 3 vote the board agreed to a two mile setback from a non participant dwelling. A recommendation of a one mile setback from a property line of a non participating land owner was also approved. The board will recommend a 35 decibel sound level at the nearest nonparticipating dwelling.
These recommendations will be made to the Cherry County Commissioners when the zoning regulations are rewritten to reflect the setback changes.