Land use ordinances were created to prevent neighbors and activities from crossing property lines, diminishing land values, and intended to uphold the use and enjoyment of one’s property without unlawful encroachment.
Henry Co. Commissioners have now passed their Wind Ordinance “improvements” to the Planning Commission for consideration. Their version not only ignores safe, sensible recommendations provided to them but fails on the most important issue: distance of a turbine to your property line, known as setback, changing it from 1.1 to a miserly 1.5 times the height of the turbine. Translation for 500’ turbine: 550' to a whopping 750'.
2,640' to any PROPERTY LINE is much safer. It avoids the crucial impact zone for home values, health effects, open, unfettered access to your land needed for above-and-below-ground transmission lines and project maintenance. Below 2,640', wind companies aggressively promote “Good Neighbor Agreements” to convince you to release your property and health rights, securing your forfeiture of any right to complain or speak against the wind for 20-30 YEARS, usually for an insultingly-low annual payment with no way out once you sign.
Under new ordinance changes, zoning will be inconsequential. The proposed setback is no longer measured to your PROPERTY LINE, but to the FOUNDATION of your house. When Apex and Nordex safety manuals warn employees to remain 1,640’ away from functioning turbines, why would our Commissioners plant them only 1,500' away from our HOMES?
Furthermore, the Zoning Administrator’ proposed TENFOLD increase in filing fees for all zoning change requests is exorbitant; thus, zoning changes, if still needed, will increase from $50 to $500.
Likely hoping to diminish wind opposition, [Henry County] Commissioner [Kim] Cronk has been heard to remark, “How HAPPY everyone in Jay County is with their new wind farm.”
What has happened in Jay County since their project became operational? Real estate appraisers advertised to Jay County residents within TEN miles of each turbine to consider having their house and land reappraised, offering assistance with the appraisal and tax appeal process to the Assessor.
Horrified, non-lease signers had no idea of the IWT impact, now realizing their trusted county officials have willingly subjected them to diminished values on their greatest investment: their homes. They began sharing experiences of jet engine noise, red blinking lights at night, compromised cell phone & tv reception, and sleep deprivation. Health complaints have grown, along with anger toward their county officials. Are short-term Federal tax credits available to wind companies worth an immediately-lowered quality of life?
Jay residents are educating and organizing themselves. An incumbent commissioner was voted out of office, last primary, due to his failure to protect citizens. A 3-year moratorium on wind was JUST passed in order to strengthen their ordinances. Among their discoveries: The 1,500 ft. setback to PROPERTY LINE was NOT ENOUGH! Yet, Henry County is considering this irresponsible setback to one’s foundation!
Can we learn from Jay County officials, who have wisely decided to review, and likely increase their setbacks?? Recommendations of Commissioners here prove wind is NOT dead in Henry County.
We urge Planning Commission members to have the independence of mind, and the COURAGE, to protect Us.
Ms. Wilson is a resident of Harrison Township