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Linn County Front Page News

Posted on: September 30, 2022

Linn County to Hold Public Hearing October 3 on Possible Solar Moratorium

Solar panels

The Linn County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing and first consideration Monday, October 3, 2022, at 11 a.m. on an ordinance that, if passed, would place a moratorium on accepting rezoning applications for the Renewable Energy Overlay District (utility-scale solar applications) for up to 12 months. The meeting will be held during the Board of Supervisors’ regular Monday meeting at the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids. Public comment will be taken during the public hearing.

The second reading is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5 at 11 a.m. The third and final reading is scheduled for Wednesday, October 12 at 11 a.m. All meetings will take place at the Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids.

A moratorium period will allow staff to closely examine and analyze Linn County’s renewable energy standards taking lessons learned from the two recent utility-scale solar rezoning applications.

“Linn County’s code for renewable energy projects such as utility scale solar is one of the best codes in the country,” Linn County Planning & Development Director Charlie Nichols said. “We believe we can now make it even better after our experience with the two recent rezoning applications from Coggon Solar LLC and Duane Arnold Solar LLC.”

If the moratorium passes, Linn County’s Planning & Development Department will create Renewable Energy Review Committees to help look at specific areas of the renewable energy code including, but not limited to, setbacks, vegetation, screening, agrivoltaics, and battery energy storage systems. The committees will begin meeting in late October or early November to help evaluate code updates and have input on the updated code. 

“The review committees will include Linn County residents, subject matter experts, and County staff. Together, we will review our current code and identify specific areas where we can make it even better than the current version,’ Nichols said.

Members of the public interested in being considered to serve on the voluntary review committees should complete an application or call Planning & Development at 319-892-5130 for a paper application. 

Sign up to be notified of future Board of Supervisors meetings and agendas once they are scheduled.

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

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