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Menahga residents to give input on yard amendment

A public hearing is scheduled in Menahga to discuss front yard regulations regarding solar panels and wind turbines.

The meeting, held by the Menahga Planning and Zoning Commission will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6 in the Menahga City Council chambers.

The purpose of this hearing is to give the public an opportunity to ask questions and give comments on the proposed ordinance amending:

151.16 (E)(2)(C) - Front Yard Regulations. The proposed amendment states that solar panel and wind turbine locations shall be restricted so that they are not located between the dwelling and the street.

Menahga Mayor Pat Foss asked the City Council at its last meeting to begin discussing the proposed ordinance.

"I think there needs to be a place for them - not in the front yard or near the street," he said earlier this month.

The reason Foss brought up the issue was because he had heard from some residents who oppose solar panels in front yards due to appearance and possible visibility issues for driving. He added wind turbines to the discussion because he knows of other cities that have them in town.

Foss brought a proposed ordinance to the meeting. It states, "solar panel and wind turbine locations shall be restricted so that they are not located between the dwelling and the street."

Councilwoman Kim Rasmussen said she was confused about the process and how the proposed ordinance showed up at the council meeting without any notice.

Foss explained that the issue was discussed at an administration meeting and was meant only for discussion at this point. A public hearing would still be needed before it came to the council for a vote, he said.

Councilwoman Maxine Norman questioned where the regulations would end as technology changed. For example, she asked if a solar panel that attached to the door of a house would be in violation.

Foss said more discussion was needed but he wanted the city to start looking at the issue.

"I think we do have the responsibility to address this in our city," Foss said. "These issues will come up more and more."

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561