Grand County revises zoning laws to include wind towers |

Grand County revises zoning laws to include wind towers

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

Grand County commissioners voted to relax regulations on wind-energy towers in the county.

Where before wind turbines were not allowed in zoning laws, wind energy systems with towers up to 35 feet in height and not more than 20 kW will now be permitted on properties large enough for such systems.

The revised zoning laws state that such a system must be within 50 feet inside all property lines.

For those who want to erect more than one wind-energy system, or those who plan to have one taller than 35 feet, the county is requiring a special review and permit. Last Tuesday, county commissioners approved a special use permit cost of $1,000 per wind energy system. For changes to a tower, such as increasing its height or capacity, the cost of a permit renewal would be $300.

Other changes to zoning regs:

– County commissioners approved new wording that would restrict lakeshore owners to one boathouse or one dock, not both. The intent of the revised regulation, prompted by a court case the county lost this year when a lakeshore owner challenged the former language of this rule, remains to preserve the visual integrity of the lake. “Staff thinks that it is never to late to try and make a situation better, and simply because the regulations were not clearly written before, does not mean we should ignore it today,” the planning department informed commissioners

– Ag building definitions

A proposed change in the zoning regulations is in response to owners of large-acre parcels claiming a building is for agricultural purposes just to avoid applying for a building permit. Unless a building is used for bonafide agricultural or horticultural purposes, it cannot be classified as an Agriculture Building. Revised zoning language, which county commissioners approved on Tuesday, defines ag structures as “located on real property classified and designated as agriculture by the Grand County Assessor.”