CITY OF LESTER PRAIRIE
ORDINANCE NO. 301
AN INTERIM ORDINANCE
REGARDING WIND ENERGY
CONVERSION SYSTEMS; SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION
SYSTEM; ESTABLISHING A
MORATORIUM; AND DIRECTING
A STUDY OF OFFICIAL CONTROLS
The City Council of the city of Lester Prairie ordains as follows:
Section 1. Background.
1.01. The City of Lester Prairie (the “City”) has adopted a comprehensive plan and official controls to regulate the development of land within the community, all in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, sections 462.351 et seq. and 473.851 et seq.
1.02. The City has adopted a zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations and other official controls to implement the comprehensive plan.
1.03.The City has established various zoning districts in which some uses are permitted as of right, some uses are permitted conditionally, and other uses not listed are not permitted.
1.04. Among the uses which are permitted conditionally in the rural residential and suburban residential districts are wind energy and solar energy conversion systems.
1.05. Minnesota Statutes, Section 462.3595, subd. 1 requires that a city’s zoning ordinance include both general requirements for all conditional uses and insofar as practical, requirements specific to each designated conditional use.
1.06. The City has determined that its current zoning ordinance is inadequate to regulate wind energy and solar energy conversion systems due to the changing nature of such uses and the emerging development pattern of the community.
1.07. The City wishes to prevent premature establishment of new wind energy and solar conversion systems until it has an opportunity to fully evaluate and revise its zoning ordinance and other official controls to better regulate such uses.
1.09. Minnesota Statutes, section 462.355, subd. 4 allows the City to adopt an interim ordinance to regulate, restrict, or prohibit any use or development when it recognizes the need to modify its official controls for the purpose of protecting the planning process and the health, safety and welfare of the citizens.
Section 2. Findings.
2.01. The City Council finds that the nature of wind energy and solar energy conversion systems has changed substantially over time. The scale of these systems has expanded as technology has evolved, which increases the potential for adverse impacts. The current zoning ordinance does not include standards and requirements adequate to regulate the construction and operation of these uses.
2.02. The City Council finds it necessary to have an opportunity to review, study and amend its official controls as they relate to these uses to remedy those deficiencies.
2.03. The City Council finds that the adoption of an interim ordinance applicable to wind energy and solar energy conversion systems is essential to give it the opportunity to review, adopt and modify its official controls to preserve the planning process and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the community.
Section 3. Study of Official Controls; Moratorium.
3.01. The City hereby authorizes a review to determine how the City’s official controls regarding wind energy and solar conversion systems need to be modified or supplemented in order to prevent such uses from having an adverse effect on nearby lands and to protect the public health, safety and welfare. The review will be by the Planning and Zoning Commission and submitted to the City Council for review and approval.
3.02. Pending completion of the study and the adoption of new or amended official controls, a moratorium is hereby established on the acceptance, review, processing or approval of applications for the establishment, construction, or expansion of wind energy and solar energy conversion systems. The moratorium shall apply to all land within the City. No new applications for wind energy or solar energy conversion systems within any zoning district or for the expansion any such system shall be accepted after the effective date of this ordinance. All such applications which have been received prior to the effective date of this ordinance shall be given no further review and shall be withdrawn by the applicant or shall be acted upon by the City in light of the moratorium.
Section 4. Duration.
4.01. This ordinance shall remain in effect for one year after its adoption and publication.
Section 5. Enforcement.
5.01. The City may enforce this ordinance by mandamus, injunction or other appropriate civil remedy in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Section 6. Separability.
6.01. Every section, provision and part of this ordinance is declared separable from every other section, provision and part thereof. If any section, provision or part of this ordinance is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not invalidate any other section, provision or part of this ordinance.
Section 7. Effective Date.
7.01. This ordinance shall take effect upon its adoption by the city council and publication in the City’s official newspaper.
Adopted by the city council of the city of Lester Prairie this 8th day of August, 2012.
CITY OF LESTER PRAIRIE
By /s/ Andrew Heimerl, Its Mayor
By /s/ Marilyn Pawelk, Its City Clerk
Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 13, 2012.