Minutes of Board of Adjustment’s Hearing held on August 29, 2012.
I. Call to Order. Meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. Board members present were Dennis Staudt, Bill Fluhrer, Ann Sullivan, and Angelia Ruzicka. Also present was Jeff Sherman, Zoning Administrator. Roll call of Board members was taken and four out of the five (5) members were present, with Board Member John Gohr being absent.
II. Approval of Agenda. A motion to approve the agenda as presented was made by Dennis Staudt and seconded by Bill Fluhrer, motion was unanimously approved.
III. Approval of Minutes. A motion to approve the minutes from the August 21, 2012, meeting was made by Bill Fluhrer and seconded by Angela Ruzicka, motion was unanimously approved.
IV. Old Business. No old business.
V. New Business.
A. A conditional use request by Floyd County Conservation to have a 10 kW wind tower on its property located at 1227 – 215th Street in Section 16, Township 95 North, Range 18 West of the 5th P.M., Rockford Township. Doug Schroeder, County Conservationist, and Mark Kuhn, County Supervisor, were present for the hearing. Adjacent property owner Ralph Martin was also present for the hearing. Doug Schroeder referenced an aerial map showing the proposed location of the tower. Mr. Schroeder stated that this will be a combination green energy plan with solar panels, which will also have 10 kW generating capacity, and the wind turbine to meet the demands of the Fossil and Prairie Center. They looked into the kW used by the Center and came up with sizing for these two green energy devices on site. They are not trying to over-produce or sell energy, but they want to make sure their sizing fit what is used by the Center. The aerial photograph shows where the solar panels will be located and the turbine will be to the northwest of the panels. The tower will be 120’ high and the setback from the West boundary line is 340’ and almost 700’ from the County road. The foundation of that tower will be located 115-120% of its height away from the building and property lines per zoning requirements. The tower itself is 120’, but the height to the tip of the blade is 135’. It is a windy site. They did not do an exhaustive study but looked at the general studies and sent them into the State and the State gave them an idea of whether it was a good site for a turbine. Because of the elevation, the fact that it’s on a hill, and there are no obstructions, wind generation is ideal for this site.
Not only is the turbine sized to accommodate the Center’s energy needs, but there is also an educational component to it as well. They were the recipients of a $19,000.00 educational grant to go with the tower and solar panel project to educate the public. There will be an educational kiosk installed in the Center so people can look out and see the generator operating with real time information will be relayed to the kiosk. Board Member Ruzicka inquired about unused energy and it was determined that the Center has a net metering contract with Butler County REC which means they provide energy to the grid on days they are producing more energy than they need and they take energy from the grid on days they are using more than they can produce. Supervisor Kuhn added that this will be the first small wind turbine built in a small wind innovation zone in Iowa. When redoing the zoning ordinance, Floyd County was designated one of only two counties in the State that is a small wind innovation zone, which means anyone who builds a small wind turbine 100 kW or less in the State of Iowa will receive State tax credit. They hope that this site will be an example for the people of Floyd County to come and see if this type of energy system would be right for them and hopefully we will see more small wind energy systems built in the future as a result. Board Member Staudt referenced Assistant Day’s Staff Report, specifically number 3 regarding compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regulations and that the applicants would provide written documentation at the time of the hearing. Mr. Schroeder stated that they went out to the Charles City Airport and Bill Kyle basically said it was not in any flight pattern, it was under a certain height (200’), and that it is no problem but to get an official certification you have to go through FAA and from phone calls they have been assured that the FAA will send out something in writing to back that up but it could take several months to get it.
A motion to approve the conditional use request by the Floyd County Conservation to have a 10 kW wind tower on its property located at 1227 – 215th Street in Section 16, Township 95 North, Range 18 West of the 5th P.M., Rockford Township, was made by Angela Ruzicka pending FAA approval and seconded by Dennis Staudt. Roll call vote was taken and the motion was unanimously approved, with Board Member Bill Fluhrer abstaining.
B. A conditional use request by Andrew Lusk to have an accessory dwelling on his property located at 1290 Rampart Avenue in the SW¼ of Section 36, Township 97 North, Range 16 West of the 5th P.M., Cedar Township. Applicant Andrew Lusk and Jennifer Lusk were present for the hearing. Adjacent property owner Eleanor Waid was also present for the hearing. Mr. Lusk stated that he is proposing to add a secondary home to the subject property for his wife and himself. His son will live in the old home that is exists there now. He is wanting to build a manufacturing home at this time and all the property owners surrounding this property are family members with the exception of the owner to the West. His son is interested in farming with his uncle, who owns the surrounding farm ground so that is why they want to build a second home. Board Member Fluhrer inquired as to how big the building site was and it was determined that it is a little over 3 acres, although the Staff Report indicates it is 2.09 acres excluding road right-of-way. Chair Ann Sullivan inquired about the septic system and it was determined that the two houses would share a septic system and that Jeff had been to the site and determined that they are going to add a larger tank and add to the leach field to accommodate the second house.
A motion to approve the conditional use request by Andrew Lusk to have an accessory dwelling on his property located at 1290 Rampart Avenue in the SW¼ of Section 36, Township 97 North, Range 16 West of the 5th P.M., Cedar Township, was made by Bill Fluhrer and seconded by Dennis Staudt. Roll call vote was taken and the motion was unanimously approved.
C. A variance request by Andrew Lusk to have an accessory dwelling 5’ rather than the 30’ required setback from his property line located at 1290 Rampart Avenue in the SW¼ of Section 36, Township 97 North, Range 16 West of the 5th P.M., Cedar Township. Applicant Lusk stated that his brother-in-law owns the building lot and farm ground surrounding his lot, which would be the lot line he is requesting the variance from, and he did not have any objection to them building 5’ from the lot line.
A motion to approve the variance request by Andrew Lusk to have an accessory dwelling 5’ rather than the 30’ required setback from his property line located at 1290 Rampart Avenue in the SW¼ of Section 36, Township 97 North, Range 16 West of the 5th P.M., Cedar Township, was made by Dennis Staudt and seconded by Angela Ruzicka. Roll call vote was taken and the motion was unanimously approved.
VI. Adjourn. Motion to close the hearing was made by Bill Fluhrer and was seconded by Angela Ruzicka.
Jeff D. Sherman