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  • Writer's pictureJournal Staff Report

Guidelines set for public forum on solar utility development

Updated: Feb 20

Opponents and proponents of large scale development of solar utilities in Linn County will have an opportunity to air their views about the county zoning regulations in a public forum on March 4 at the Prairie View Performing Arts Center. (Journal file photo)


LA CYGNE – Opponents and proponents of solar utility development will get a chance to weigh in during a public forum ordered by the Linn County Commission.


The forum will be conducted beginning at 7 p.m. on March 4 at the Prairie View Performing Arts Center located in the district’s complex at 13799 Kansas Highway 152, La Cygne.


The forum comes after several weekly meetings with the Linn County Planning and Zoning Commission members meeting with solar development proponents and opponents in an ad hoc committee to review current regulations covering large-scale solar development.


A review of the county regulations came after a group of solar opponents who live close to where two solar farms are proposed pressured the planning commission to recommend to the county commission that a moratorium on solar development be enacted for up to a year. During that time, the ad hoc committee was to review the current regulations and consider changes.


However, several members of the anti-solar group have made it clear throughout the those proceedings that their goal is a total ban on solar farms, much like the county imposed on wind generators last year. Mark Briggs, a solar-farm opponent, made it clear to other ad hoc committee members that reviewing the regulations was a waste of time.


Nonetheless, opponents have continued to attend the meetings and discuss each regulation.


The guidelines for the forum are fairly strict, and were developed by the ad hoc committee.


The county planning commission will mediate the verbal and written testimony given by the public.


Testimony or opinions may be submitted verbally, written or both. Those who give testimony or opinions will give their full name, address of residence, relationship to Linn County (resident, landowner, or interested party), and include whether they are a proponent, opponent or neutral to solar commercial development


Those speaking at the forum will be limited to two minutes and their comments can also be submitted in writing.


All verbal testimony will be grouped by following categories and will speak in this order proponent, neutral and opponent.


After each group has had an opportunity to speak, the planning commission may ask follow-up questions to individuals for clarification. 


Those wanting to submit written testimony to the Planning and Zoning Department can send email to dwilson@linncountyks.com, or mail or hand-deliver printed copy to 306 Main Street, Mound City, KS 66056 by Feb. 28, 2024 at 3 p.m. 


Copies of the current county solar regulations as written in Article 14 can be viewed at linncountyks.com or printed copies picked up at the address above.

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