(c) A political subdivision shall base its decision on an application for approval 5
on written findings of fact that are supported by the evidence in the record under par. 6
(b). A political subdivision's procedure for reviewing the application for approval 7
shall conform to the commission's rules promulgated under s. 196.378 (4g) (c) 3.
(d) Except as provided in par. (e), a political subdivision shall approve or 9
disapprove an application for approval no later than 90 days after the day on which 10
it notifies the applicant that the application for approval is complete. If a political 11
subdivision fails to act within the 90 days, or within any extended time period 12
established under par. (e), the application is considered approved.
(e) A political subdivision may extend the time period in par. (d) if, within that 14
90-day period, the political subdivision authorizes the extension in writing. Any 15
combination of the following extensions may be granted, except that the total amount 16
of time for all extensions granted under this paragraph may not exceed 90 days:
1. An extension of up to 45 days if the political subdivision needs additional 18
information to determine whether to approve or deny the application for approval.
2. An extension of up to 90 days if the applicant makes a material modification 20
to the application for approval.
3. An extension of up to 90 days for other good cause specified in writing by the 22
(f) 1. Except as provided in subd. 2., a political subdivision may not deny or 24
impose a restriction on an application for approval unless the political subdivision
enacts an ordinance that is no more restrictive than the rules the commission 2
promulgates under s. 196.378 (4g) (b).
2. A political subdivision may deny an application for approval if the proposed 4
site of the wind energy system is in an area primarily designated for future 5
residential or commercial development, as shown in a map that is adopted, as part 6
of a comprehensive plan, under s. 66.1001 (2) (b) and (f), before June 2, 2009, or as 7
shown in such maps after December 31, 2015, as part of a comprehensive plan that 8
is updated as required under s. 66.1001 (2) (i). This subdivision applies to a wind 9
energy system has a nominal capacity of at least one megawatt.
(g) A political subdivision that chooses to regulate wind energy systems shall 11
enact an ordinance, subject to sub. (6) (b), that is no more restrictive than the 12
applicable standards established by the commission in rules promulgated under s. 13
66.0401 (5) Public service commission review.
(a) A decision of a political 16
subdivision to determine that an application is incomplete under sub. (4) (a) 1., or to 17
approve, disapprove, or impose a restriction upon a wind energy system, or an action 18
of a political subdivision to enforce a restriction on a wind energy system, may be 19
appealed only as provided in this subsection.
(b) 1. Any aggrieved person seeking to appeal a decision or enforcement action 21
specified in par. (a) may begin the political subdivision's administrative review 22
process. If the person is still aggrieved after the administrative review is completed, 23
the person may file an appeal with the commission. No appeal to the commission 24
under this subdivision may be filed later than 30 days after the political subdivision 25
has completed its administrative review process. For purposes of this subdivision,
if a political subdivision fails to complete its administrative review process within 90 2
days after an aggrieved person begins the review process, the political subdivision 3
is considered to have completed the process on the 90th day after the person began 4
2. Rather than beginning an administrative review under subd. 1., an 6
aggrieved person seeking to appeal a decision or enforcement action of a political 7
subdivision specified in par. (a) may file an appeal directly with the commission. No 8
appeal to the commission under this subdivision may be filed later than 30 days after 9
the decision or initiation of the enforcement action.
3. An applicant whose application for approval is denied under sub. (4) (f) 2. 11
may appeal the denial to the commission. The commission may grant the appeal 12
notwithstanding the inconsistency of the application for approval with the political 13
subdivision's planned residential or commercial development if the commission 14
determines that granting the appeal is consistent with the public interest.
(c) Upon receiving an appeal under par. (b), the commission shall notify the 16
political subdivision. The political subdivision shall provide a certified copy of the 17
record upon which it based its decision or enforcement action within 30 days after 18
receiving notice. The commission may request of the political subdivision any other 19
relevant governmental records and, if requested, the political subdivision shall 20
provide such records within 30 days after receiving the request.
(d) The commission may confine its review to the records it receives from the 22
political subdivision or, if it finds that additional information would be relevant to 23
its decision, expand the records it reviews. The commission shall issue a decision 24
within 90 days after the date on which it receives all of the records it requests under 25
par. (c), unless for good cause the commission extends this time period in writing.
If the commission determines that the political subdivision's decision or enforcement 2
action does not comply with the rules it promulgates under s. 196.378 (4g) or is 3
otherwise unreasonable, the political subdivision's decision shall be superseded by 4
the commission's decision and the commission may order an appropriate remedy.
(e) In conducting a review under par. (d), the commission may treat a political 6
subdivision's determination that an application under sub. (4) (a) 1. is incomplete as 7
a decision to disapprove the application if the commission determines that a political 8
subdivision has unreasonably withheld its determination that an application is 9
(f) Judicial review is not available until the commission issues its decision or 11
order under par. (d). Judicial review shall be of the commission's decision or order, 12
not of the political subdivision's decision or enforcement action. The commission's 13
decision or order is subject to judicial review under ch. 227. Injunctive relief is 14
available only as provided in s. 196.43.
66.0401 (6) Applicability of a county ordinance.
(a) 1. A county ordinance 17
enacted under sub. (2) applies only to the towns in the county that have not enacted 18
an ordinance under sub. (2).
2. If a town enacts an ordinance under sub. (2) after a county has enacted an 20
ordinance under sub. (2), the county ordinance does not apply, and may not be 21
enforced, in the town, except that if the town later repeals its ordinance, the county 22
ordinance applies in that town.
(b) 1. Subject to subd. 2., a county ordinance enacted under sub. (4) applies only 24
in the unincorporated parts of the county.
2. If a town enacts an ordinance under sub. (4), either before or after a county 2
enacts an ordinance under sub. (4), the more restrictive terms of the 2 ordinances 3
apply to the town, except that if the town later repeals its ordinance, the county 4
ordinance applies in that town.
SB185-SSA1, s. 9
66.0403 (1) (m) of the statutes is amended to read:
(m) "Wind energy system" means equipment and associated
that converts convert
and then stores store
or transfers transfer
from the wind into usable forms of energy.
SB185-SSA1, s. 10
196.378 (4) (title) of the statutes is repealed and recreated to read:
(title) Renewable resource rules.
196.378 (4g) Wind siting rules.
(a) In this subsection:
1. "Application for approval" has the meaning given in s. 66.0401 (1e) (a).
2. "Political subdivision" means a city, village, town, or county.
3. "Wind energy system" has the meaning given in s. 66.0403 (1) (m).
(b) The commission shall promulgate rules that specify the restrictions a 17
political subdivision may impose on the installation or use of a wind energy system 18
consistent with the conditions specified in s. 66.0401 (1m) (a) to (c). The subject 19
matter of these rules may include visual appearance, lighting, electrical connections 20
to the power grid, setback distances, maximum audible sound levels, shadow flicker, 21
proper means of measuring noise, interference with radio, telephone, or television 22
signals, decommissioning, or other matters. A political subdivision may not place a 23
restriction on the installation or use of a wind energy system that is more restrictive 24
than these rules.
(c) In addition to the rules under par. (b), the commission shall promulgate 2
rules that do all of the following:
1. Specify the information and documentation to be provided in an application 4
for approval to demonstrate that a proposed wind energy system complies with rules 5
promulgated under par. (b)
2. Specify the information and documentation to be included in a political 7
subdivision's record of decision under s. 66.0401 (4) (b).
3. Specify the procedure a political subdivision shall follow in reviewing an 9
application for approval under s. 66.0401 (4).
4. Specify the requirements and procedures for a political subdivision to enforce 11
the restrictions allowed under par. (b).
(dg) In making a determination under par. (d) that applies to a large 14
electric generating facility, if the large electric generating facility is a wind energy 15
system, as defined in s. 66.0403 (1) (m), the commission shall consider whether 16
installation or use of the facility is consistent with the standards specified in the 17
rules promulgated by the commission under s. 196.378 (4g) (b).
(1) Advisory committee; public hearings.
(a) In this subsection:
1. "Political subdivision" means a city, village, town, or county.
2. "Wind energy system" has the meaning given in section 66.0403 (1) (m) of 23
the statutes, as affected by this act.
(b) Before the public service commission may promulgate the rules required 25
under section 196.378 (4g) of the statutes, as created by this act, the commission shall
establish an advisory committee under section 227.13 of the statutes, composed of 2
a member of the University of Wisconsin faculty who offers expertise in the issues 3
to be addressed by the advisory committee and representatives of wind energy 4
system developers, political subdivisions, energy groups, environmental groups, 5
realtors, landowners who live adjacent to or in the vicinity of wind energy systems 6
and who have not received compensation by or on behalf of owners of, operators of, 7
or developers of wind energy systems, and the public, to advise the commission on 8
The public service commission shall hold at least 2 public hearings prior to 10
promulgating the rules required under section 196.378 (4g) of the statutes, as 11
created by this act. The public service commission shall hold at least one of the 12
hearings in Monroe County and at least one of the hearings in an area outside of 13
Dane County and Monroe County in which developers have proposed wind energy 14
15(2) Department of natural resources study.
The department of natural 16
resources shall conduct a study to determine whether the department's statutory 17
authority is sufficient to adequately protect wildlife and the environment from any 18
adverse effect from the siting, construction, or operation of wind energy systems. In 19
conducting the study, the department shall consider the authority of other state 20
agencies and political subdivisions to regulate the environmental impact of wind 21
energy systems, including the authority of the public service commission under 22
section 196.491 (3) (d) 3. and 4. of the statutes and of political subdivisions under 23
section 66.0401 (1m) and (4) (g) of the statutes, as affected by this act. On or before 24
the first day of the 13th month beginning after the effective date of this subsection, 25
the department shall submit a report containing the results of the study to the
legislature in the manner provided under section 13.172 (2) of the statutes. If the 2
department's study concludes that the department's statutory authority is not 3
sufficient to adequately protect wildlife and the environment from any adverse effect 4
from the siting, construction, or operation of wind energy systems, the report shall 5
include recommendations to the legislature for a bill that provides the department 6
with such authority.
(1) The public service commission review process for a political subdivision's 9
decision or enforcement action under section 66.0401 (5) of the statutes, as created 10
by this act, first applies to a local decision or action that is issued or initiated after 11
the public service commission's rules under section 196.378 (4g) of the statutes, as 12
created by this act, take effect.
(2) The treatment of section 196.491 (3) (dg) of the statutes, as created by this 14
act, first applies to applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity 15
that are received after the public service commission's rules under section 196.378 16
(4g) of the statutes, as created by this act, take effect.