Before issuing permits for renewable energy projects benefitting property owners and community residents Minnesota municipalities need to establish ordinances identifying good locations for the projects and manage potential impacts. TKDA assisted several communities with the development and implementation of new ordinances for accessory and primary-use solar systems (solar farms and solar gardens).
The new ordinances identify the zoning districts, permit requirements and performance standards for solar systems, such as minimum lot size, screening requirements and setbacks. Ordinance development often led to lively discussions at Planning Commission meetings and public hearings. TKDA modified draft ordinances to address the public concerns. Since adopting its ordinance in the fall of 2015 the City of Scandia has approved permits for four solar gardens and farms.