Linn County announces that dates have now been scheduled for the public meeting process for the Coggon Solar LLC utility-scale solar application project. Residents will be able to attend in person or virtually. If attending in person, masks are required in County-owned buildings. These scheduled meetings are for Coggon Solar LLC’s application only. No other utility company has submitted a solar application to Linn County. The application documents submitted by Coggon Solar LLC are available on Linn County’s website at LinnCountyIowa.gov/SolarFarm.
All utility-scale solar applicants in Linn County must undergo a review by the Technical Review Committee, the Planning & Zoning Commission, and three readings by the Board of Supervisors. The review process is designed to review all applications thoroughly against the development standards outlined in Linn County’s utility-scale solar ordinance. Additional standards may be imposed as part of the review process.
TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING
When: November 15, 2021
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Where: Linn County Public Service Center, Lower Level | 935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids
Dial-in Number: +1 (786) 535-3211 | Access Code: 786-774-005
Join meeting from your computer, tablet, or smartphone:
NOTE: The Technical Review Committee meeting is open to the public, but as is the case with all Technical Review Committee meetings, no public comments will be taken. This meeting is for staff to review the project with the applicant. Virtual attendees using a computer, tablet, or smartphone to connect will be able to view case presentations, but will be unable to view presenters or committee members.
PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION MEETING
When: November 29, 2021
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Where: Linn County Fairgrounds | 201 Central City Rd., Central City
Members of the public can attend in person or virtually. Virtual attendance will require attendees to register.
Register to Attend Virtually:
NOTE: Public comment will be taken during this meeting. Comments will be limited to five minutes. Public comments can be submitted in advance by emailing Linn County Planning & Development. Comments will be read publicly at the meeting by Linn County staff.
During this meeting, the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC) can take one of the following actions: recommend approval of the application, recommend denial of the application, or table the application and request additional information. If the Planning Commission recommends approval, they can also recommend approval subject to additional standards. The Board of Supervisors can require the standards based on PZC recommendation, not require them, and/or impose additional standards. The PZC cannot impose additional standards, but they can recommend the Board of Supervisors do so.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS READINGS
Dates for the Board of Supervisors three required readings will be scheduled following the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.
Requirements for the Solar Review Process
All utility-scale solar projects require an application to rezone the area to be used for the solar installation to (RE) Renewable Energy Overlay Zoning District.
Once an applicant submits a utility-scale solar application to Linn County Planning & Development, the review process begins. This process is robust and includes benchmark reviews from the Technical Review Committee, Planning & Development staff, and the Planning & Zoning Commission before any application is presented to the Board of Supervisors.
The review process is the same for all utility-scale solar applicants:
- Applicants must undergo a review by the Technical Review Committee (TRC), the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC), and three readings by the Board of Supervisors. These are public meetinfs. The TRC meeting is open to the public but is not a public hearing (no public comments are taken). The PZC meeting is a public hearing where the public can comment on the application.
- The Planning & Zoning Commission must consider the Technical Review Committee's findings and staff recommendation of the application, and must consider the proposed rezoning during at least one public meeting before submitting its findings and recommendation of approval or denial on the application to the Board of Supervisors.
- The Board of Supervisors will hold three public hearings for the rezoning request before making their final decision.
- All recommendations, including the final decision by the Board of Supervisors, must be based on the development standards for utility-scale solar contained in Linn County's Code of Ordinances section 107-117 (h). Additional standards may be imposed as part of the review process.
- Linn County will notify the applicant and surrounding property owners of the date and time of the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting and public hearing and invite them to attend.
As of Nov. 4, 2021, Coggon Solar LLC is the only applicant that has submitted a utility-scale solar application to Linn County for review.
Sign up to be notified of future meetings and agendas once they are scheduled.
Visit LinnCountyIowa.gov/SolarFarms for more information on the utility-scale solar permitting process in Linn County.