Iowa cities and towns now have a model ordinance to follow to help local residents put up their own wind turbines. Nathaniel Baer with the Iowa Environmental Council says a broad coalition of groups worked on the model ordinance, which aims to make it as easy as possible for average homeowners to comply.

The legislature approved the Small Wind Innovation Program last year after some Iowa towns passed ordinances which advocates for wind power say are too restrictive.

“Some cities that have already adopted ordinances in Iowa have taken a really restrictive approach, either by banning wind turbines in all residential neighborhoods or by requiring a really large lot size, like a one or two acre lot, to put up a turbine,” Baer said.

Ames, Marshalltown and Council Bluffs are a few of the cities that have already passed more restrictive ordinances. The Iowa Environmental Council helped write the new model ordinance.

Baer says there’s no minimum lot size under the ordinance and there’s no ban based on a certain zone, such as a residential zone. Instead, the ordinance creates a relationship between the size of the turbine and the size and dimensions of the lot.

Homeowners in participating cities can apply for a new renewable energy tax credit to help defray the cost of a wind turbine.

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