Woodbury County Board of Supervisors amend wind turbine ordinance

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 9:37 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Woodbury County leaders have approved stricter regulations to govern the construction of new wind turbines in the county at their meeting Tuesday night.

County supervisors passed the third and final reading of an amended ordinance to increase the distance between new wind turbines and incorporated cities and conservation areas.

Those setback requirements now include a 2-mile radius around incorporated towns within the county. Until now, the setback distance was just 600 feet.

Setback requirements will change for public conservation areas, as well, the distance will now be one mile which is up from 600 feet previously.

Board Chairman Matthew Ung says this was an effort to help account for potential growth of communities within the county.

“We have communities that are growing, which is a good thing, and they have plans to grow... so it makes no sense to have a wind turbine that would block the growth of one of our cities, as far as more affordable housing and things like that,” Ung said.

Several people, who spoke at the meeting, said the 2-mile setback wasn’t enough. They would favor a five-mile setback, which is something that was suggested by Moville Mayor Jim Fisher.

When these windmills go up, they go up for a lifetime and they also go for a generation,” Fisher said.

Ung said the reason the board didn’t look at distances greater than two miles is because they want to have an ordinance that would hold up in court.