Development Review

Commercial Wind Energy Text Amendment

County Board Meetings

The Lancaster County Board has set the public hearing on the proposed Wind Energy Text Amendment for Tuesday, October 20th at 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the first floor chambers of the County City Building, 555 S. 10th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. This is the same location as the Planning Commission public hearing on the amendment.

The format will be similar to the Planning Commission meeting. There will be a sign up sheet placed in the hallway outside the Chambers beginning at 4:15 p.m. People will be called to testify in the order on the signup sheet. The signup sheet will be available for people to sign up as long as the meeting is in progress.

The following items were included for review by the County Board:

Planning Commission Review Draft

On August 5th, staff from the Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Department and the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department presented a briefing on the proposed Wind Energy Text Amendment to the Planning Commission. The intent of this briefing was to provide Commissioners with a basic technical background, as well as the history and the process undertaken in developing the proposed text amendment. They were given the opportunity to ask technical questions. Staff requested that Commissioners reserve questions that would be of interest to the public for the public hearing on August 19, 2015.

On July 9th, staff from the Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Department and the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department released the draft text amendment for review by the Planning Commission. To view the proposed County zoning regulations for Commercial Wind Energy click here Planning Commission Review Draft. This version lists the changes from the June 8th draft and highlights the revisions in yellow. To review the proposed regulations without the changes from the June 8th draft click here (clean copy).

  • Additional information from the Health Department about Noise Level recommendations in the Planning Commission Review draft can be found here: Basis for LLCHD Recommendations

On June 8th, staff from the Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Department and the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department released a "Public Comment" text amendment draft. The old June 8th version can be viewed here:June 8th Public Comment Draft The comments sent to the staff and the Lancaster County Board on the June 8th draft will be forwarded to the Planning Commission.

Wind Energy Text Amendment Working Group

The Lincoln/ Lancaster County Planning Department & Lincoln/ Lancaster County Health Department hosted a series of meetings with a Working Group to help staff revise the current regulations regarding Commercial Wind Energy projects. The Working Group of 12 people included persons with various viewpoints and interests, including industry representatives, environmental interests along with landowners and residents of various viewpoints about wind turbines. The Working Group was joined by 8 members from Gage County who are working on the same topic.

The goal of the Working Group process was to develop a text amendment that permits commercial wind energy projects provided there is adequate protection of adjacent property owners and residents.

Six meetings were held between March 12th and May 21st, 2015 at the Roca Community Center or Cortland Community Center in Gage County. The communities of Cortland and Roca graciously donated the use of their space for the meetings. The meetings were open to the public and typically 30 to 40 people attending. At the end of each meeting there was an open comment period for the general public.

The first five meetings focused on sharing information about wind energy. Topics ranged from the economic benefits of wind energy to health and noise impacts. Staff prepared a discussion draft which was released in early May and was reviewed page by page with Working Group members at the final meeting. The following is information presented and shared during the Working Group Meetings:


Information from Staff


Information from Working Group Members


Meeting Information

March 26, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Roca Community Center, 15545 B Street
(About 2 miles east of Highway 77 on Roca Road (Spur 55F), just south of Main Street on B Street, Roca, NE)

Meeting Materials from Staff
Meeting Discussion Topics and Information
Information from Public on Meeting Topics
Agenda Items
  • Economic implications for land owners & surrounding community
  • Environmental implications of wind turbine projects
  • Shadow flicker and ice throw
  • Examples of regulations from other communities
  • Examples of wind associations of property owners (such as Saline County)

April 9, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Cortland Community Center
(Exit Highway 77 on West 4th Street. Center is on southeast corner of West 5th St. and S. Lincoln Ave. Enter on north side of building, meeting in the "Storm Shelter" Room, Cortland, NE)

Meeting Materials from Staff
Information from Working Group on Meeting Topics
Agenda Items
  • Important view corridors
  • Impact on development and subdivisions
  • Impact on property value of adjacent land
  • Public road improvements needed for construction
  • Decommissioning of wind towers
  • Enforcement and regulations issues

April 16, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Roca Community Center, 15545 B Street

Meeting Materials from Staff
Information from Working Group on Meeting Topics
Information from Presenters
    Information from Dr. Dominique Cheenne
    Information from Dr. Edward Walsh
    Information from Robert O'Neal
Agenda Items
  • Noise and health concerns about wind turbines
  • Setbacks

April 30, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Cortland Community Center

Meeting Materials from Staff
Agenda Items
  • Setbacks in other communities
  • Noise and health Part 2

May 7, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Roca Community Center, 15545 B Street

The meeting scheduled for May 7, 2015 has been canceled

May 21, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Roca Community Center, 15545 B Street

Meeting Materials from Staff
Information from Working Group on Meeting Topic
Information from Public on Meeting Topic
Agenda Items
  • Review of initial staff proposals for addressing previous topics