Revised Wind Energy Conversion System Regulations

Existing Regulations

Section 12-306-44 Wind Energy Conversion Systems
Adopted in 2016
View Here

Proposed Revised Regulations

TA-22-00031 Wind Energy Conversion Systems
Text Amendment initiated by Planning Commission
View Draft Here

Background

The Lawrence Douglas County Planning Commission directed Planning staff to review the existing regulations for Wind Energy Conversion Systems (or WECS) in January of 2022. This came from an interest in better aligning the wind-regulations with that of the recently adopted solar-regulations. The Planning Commission voted to form an Ad Hoc Committee at their meeting on March 20, 2023 to create a Draft #2 which was published on September 26, 2023. On January 22, 2024 the Planning Commission passed a recommendation of approval to the Board of County Commissioners for Revised WECS Regulations.  The Board of County Commissioners has not identified when they plan to further discuss or vote on these regulations.

 

General Information

A Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS) is a system of wind-driven generators that convert wind energy into electrical power. Individual machines are also referred to as a turbine, wind tower, windmill, or wind pump. A WECS may be for personal or commercial use, these two varying uses are referred to as P-WECS and C-WECS, respectively.

There are existing regulations which regulate the development of WECS in Section 12-306-44 of the Douglas County Zoning and Land Use Regulations. The Lawrence Douglas County Planning Commission and County Commission approved this text amendment 2016 through Resolution No. 17-12. View the existing regulations.

Prior to these regulations being adopted, the only zoning regulations governing this use (of commercial or personal wind turbines) would have been through assessing a WECS proposal as if it was a Wireless Communication Tower as a proxy.

Since the adoption of Section 12-306-44 there have been no proposals for a C-WECS in the Unincorporated Territory of Douglas County.

 

Contact

Email: windregs@lawrenceks.org

Written comments can be mailed to:
Lawrence Planning Office
Attn: Wind Regs
1 Riverfront Plaza, Suite 320
Lawrence, KS 66044

Sandy Day is available via phone to answer questions regarding the Planning process at 785-832-7700

How to Get Involved!

The Board of County Commissioners was forwarded a recommendation of approval from the Planning Commission on 1/22/24 for the Revised Wind Energy Conversion Systems Regulations (TA-22-00031).
The Board of County Commissioners will determine the schedule moving forward. Please visit their website to learn more. 

 

Past Meetings:

1/22/24:  PUBLIC MEETING : Agenda, Meeting Recording

10/23/23: PUBLIC MEETING; Agenda,  Meeting Recording,  Presentation

10/9/23 – 10/19/23: FOUR (4) COMMUNITY MEETINGS; Presentation

8/9/23: MID-MONTH MEETING; Meeting Recording

6/6/23: LISTENING SESSION; Meeting Recording

5/25/23: LISTENING SESSION; Meeting Recording

4/7/23: LISTENING SESSION; Meeting Recording

3/20/23: PUBLIC HEARING; Agenda, Resource PacketMeeting Recording

3/8/23: MID MONTH; Agenda,  Meeting Recording

1/30/23: OPEN HOUSE; Online Survey (closed)

1/23/23: PUBLIC HEARING; Agenda,  Resource PacketMeeting Recording,

1/12/23: COMMUNITY MEETING;  Community Suggestions,  Community QuestionsPresentation

12/19/22: PUBLIC HEARING; Agenda,  Meeting Recording,   Presentation

12/14/22: MID MONTH MEETING; Meeting Recording,  Presentation

 

Additional Information

The U.S. Wind Turbine Database: https://eerscmap.usgs.gov/uswtdb/
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Recommendations: https://ksoutdoors.com/Services/Environmental-Reviews/Wind-Power-and-Wildlife-Issues-in-KansasU.S. Department of Energy FAQ’s: https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/frequently-asked-questions-about-wind-energy
How a Wind Turbine Works: https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/how-wind-turbine-works-text-version U.S. Fish and Wildlife Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines: https://www.fws.gov/media/land-based-wind-energy-guidelinesWind Energy in Kansas: https://windexchange.energy.gov/states/ks
Douglas County Solar Regulations, Section 12-306-49: link
Zoning and Land Use Regulations for the Unincorporated Territory of Douglas County, Kansas: link
Draft #1 of the Proposed Revised Regulations (Published 12/14/22): link
Draft #2 of the Proposed Revised Regulations (Published 9/26/23): link