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The original item was published from 12/14/2021 5:17:00 PM to 3/1/2022 12:00:01 AM.

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Linn County Front Page News

Posted on: December 14, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Board of Supervisors Public Meetings for Coggon Solar LLC Utility-Scale Solar Application

Solar panels

Dates have now been scheduled for the three Board of Supervisors meetings to review and consider the Coggon Solar LLC utility-scale solar application project. These are public meetings and residents can attend in person or virtually. These 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 projects in Linn County require an application to rezone the area to be used for the solar installation to (RE) Renewable Energy Overlay Zoning District. The rezoning application 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. The Technical Review Committee met on Nov.15, 2021 and the Planning & Zoning Commission met on Nov. 29, 2021 to review the Coggon Solar LLC application for rezoning. The next and final step in the review process is the Board of Supervisors meetings. 

Each meeting will have two opportunities for public comment: the first opportunity is at the beginning of the meeting and the second opportunity is at the end of the meeting. Comments will be time-limited. Public comments can be submitted in advance by emailing the Planning & Development Department and will be summarized publicly at the meeting by Linn County staff.

The Board of Supervisors will consider the application from Coggon Solar LLC and make a decision to deny or approve the rezoning based on the standards for review contained in Linn County's Code of Ordinances section 107-117 (h). The decision to deny or approve may be made at any of the three consideration meetings; however, final consideration and approval cannot occur until all three readings have occurred. A decision to postpone the decision may also be made at the first or second consideration meetings. If during any of the three readings a majority vote to reject the application is made, the application will not move forward. All recommendations on the rezoning application, 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. 

PUBLIC HEARING AND FIRST CONSIDERATION

When: Monday, January 10
Time: 6 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: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5020763037635961360
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

SECOND CONSIDERATION

When: Thursday, January 13
Time: 6 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: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8950113030586533392
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

THIRD CONSIDERATION

When: Tuesday, January 18
Time: 6 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: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/207825709395410443
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Rezoning Application Requirements

Linn County requires any solar developer to meet specific requirements and submit documents detailing and minimizing any impacts associated with the project. Specific requirements for solar projects include:  

  • Glare Minimization: All panels must be constructed to minimize glare or reflection onto adjacent properties.
  • Screening: A landscape buffer may be required if deemed necessary by the Board of Supervisors.
  • Fencing: A security fence must be installed along all exterior sides of the solar project per federal law.
  • Setbacks: All structures (including solar arrays) must meet the minimum principal setback for the zoning district the project is located in.

 Linn County also requires solar developers to submit the following documents with their rezoning application:  

  • Road Condition Survey: The applicant will be required to conduct a preconstruction survey detailing the condition of the roads that will be used during the course of the project. The applicant will be responsible for on-going road maintenance and dust control measures during construction. Additionally, the applicant will be responsible for repair of any damage to public drainage systems.
  • Operation and Maintenance Plan: The applicant will be required to submit a plan for the operation and maintenance of the solar installation, which shall include measures for maintaining safe access to the installation, storm water and erosion controls, as well as general procedures for operation and maintenance of the installation.
  • Decommissioning and Site Reclamation Plan: The applicant will be required to submit a plan detailing how the solar arrays will be removed and recycled, as well as how they will restore the site to pre-project conditions. 

View application documents submitted by Coggon Solar LLC

For more information on the utility-scale solar permitting process in Linn County, visit LinnCountyIowa.gov/SolarFarms

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