Resource Management

Welcome to the Wind Farm Frequently Asked Questions Page!

For official definitions of the following terms, please review the proposed or existing regulations.

WECOD: Wind Energy Conversion Overlay District

WECS-C: Wind Energy Conversion Systems - Commercial (aka wind turbine)

What is an "Overlay District"?

A regulatory tool that layers on top of an existing zoning district. The Overlay District modifies or supplements the regulations of the base zoning district to address special circumstances. The effect is to create a special zoning district which is placed over, and in addition to, the existing zoning.

What is a Conditional Use Permit?

A permit granted by the County Commission to allow a conditional use to occur on a specific lot.

The regulations mention "sections" and "quarter-sections", what does this mean?

Between 1815 and 1855, Missouri was surveyed into one-mile squares called sections; each section contains 640 acres. Quarter-sections are 1/4 (one-fourth) of a section containing 160 acres.

What is a Primary District in relation to a Wind Energy Conversion Overlay District?

This is the area wind turbines may be located in. It's based on location of property proposing to establish a Wind Farm. The minimum size is 640 acres (four contiguous Quarter-Sections).

What is a Buffer?

A Buffer, as it relates to a Wind Energy Conversion Overlay District, is the area surrounding a Primary District and must be at least 1,320 feet outward (1/4 mile) around the entire Primary District. No wind turbines may be placed in the buffer area.

What happens when a wind farm is no longer commercially viable?

The owner is required to submit a Decommissioning and Land Reclamation Plan as part of the WECOD application. The owner is also required to provide financial security, in a form approved by the County Commission, that will ensure that money is available to implement the Decommissioning and Land Reclamation Plan.

Has the Boone County Resource Management office received any applications for commercial scale wind farms?

As of 8/24/2021, No.

Is a wind farm, a WECS-C, and a turbine all the same thing?

WECS-C is the technical term used for a commercial turbine. The proposed regulations discuss "Clusters" of WECS-C's and this is synonymous with wind farms. (ie: multiple turbines)

If someone attempted to build a wind farm right now, what would happen?

A commercial scale wind turbine is currently only allowed within Industrial zoning districts. Assuming that a turbine of this nature would be rather tall, then there would be an additional foot of setback for every foot the structure is above 45-foot tall. (ie: a 245-foot tall structure would have an additional 200-feet of setback in all directions from the standard setback requirements.) Any structure over 100-feet tall also requires a Conditional Use Permit, subject to the approval of the County Commission.

Do the proposed regulations limit the use of residential windmills for power generation?

No. Residential windmills (identified in the draft regulations as WECS-S) are currently allowed as an Accessory Use in Agriculture and Residential zoning districts. The proposed regulations only address windmills proposed for commercial power generation.

How does all of this affect the property owners?

If the proposed regulations are passed, there will be a "path" for commercial wind operations to apply to the County Commission for an Overlay District and then Conditional Use Permits for each WECS-C. Before the application can be submitted, the property owner would need to submit a petition to the Director of Resource Management which would include a required super-majority of neighbor's signatures in the proposed primary and buffer areas. If the neighbors do not feel the project is appropriate for their area, they would be able to reflect this through not signing the petition for application. However, if the neighbors do feel this is an appropriate use of the land then the project can go through the application process.

What happens next?

Consideration of adopting amendments to occur at a later date. The County Commission will continue to review the proposed regulations after all above said meetings occur; a date has not been established for when WECOD Regulations will be up for a vote.

For more information and any updates please refer back to the dedicated Boone County Wind Farm Website:

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Additional Information:

US Fish and Wildlife Service Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines