MADISON — Madison County will not consider any wind farm applications — for now.
On Tuesday, the Madison County board of commissioners voted to establish a six-month moratorium on accepting wind farm applications to allow time to study existing zoning regulations pertaining to wind energy conversion turbines.
Pierce County recently completed a similar study and ended up approving new regulations. The process took about a year to complete, with the new regulations approved last month.
Another neighboring county, Stanton County, voted last November to prohibit wind farms entirely.
Madison County has regulations from 2007-08 that are not as stringent as those in place in many counties. In addition, they don’t address all of the issues that have arisen since wind turbines have become more common in Nebraska. The industry has evolved, with changes involving everything from the height of the towers to the amount of electricity produced.
In February, Madison County officials learned of some landowners being contacted by a company interested in obtaining leases for a possible wind farm.
Madison County commissioners did not discuss the moratorium at their meeting here Tuesday, approving it in one motion with other items on the consent agenda. Those items are generally considered to be non-controversial.
Heather McWhorter serves as the zoning administrator for both Madison and Pierce counties. That should enable Madison County to benefit from some of the input Pierce County received during its study.