Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Indiana
The Jasper County Plan Commission OK’d a draft Monday of the solar power amendment for the county’s Unified Development Ordinance. Members of county government have also confirmed that a committee will be discussing wind turbine setback regulations in the near future.
Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh, who serves on the Area Plan Commission ordinance committee, asked that a draft of a law be submitted in the near future that would ban large wind farms in the county. Area Plan Commission Director Sally Fahey said the entire committee wanted the proposed ordinance drafted.
Commissioner Tom Murtaugh said an updated ordinance would put those worries to rest. "A change in the overall county ordinance that states that large wind systems will no longer be allowed in Tippecanoe County," he said. If passed landowners would still be able to put in wind turbines, it would just ban industrial wind farms.
The ordinance amendment affecting turbine use in the county was brought about by changes proposed by a group of local individuals including Jasper County Plan Commission President Gerrett Dobson, Scott Green and Steve Molenaar. The group’s goal was to provide what it has referred to as “adequate protection to those who choose not to participate in the White Post Wind Project.”
Wind – a hot topic in the May primary – may not be as much of a driving force in the Nov. 6 election, yet behind the scenes there’s still lots of anti-turbine activity.
From Sulphur Springs east to Mount Summit and Mooreland as well as other small towns throughout the county, wheels are turning to ensure future wind turbines won’t be. Tuesday night, patrons again spoke out against proposed wind turbines at the Sulphur Springs Town Board meeting.
It limits the ban to commercial wind energy convergence systems, while allowing landowners to build noncommercial and micro wind turbines in certain circumstances, specifying rules depending on the structure’s size. At the same time, the changes also attempt to provide more legal justification for banning commercial wind farms, such as potential impacts on “the health, safety, and general welfare” of Pulaski County residents, along with property values.
“A lot of this is not in compliance with our Chapter 155 ordinance that we passed,” Commissioners president Jim Fulwider said. “If we’re not going to stand behind an ordinance that we put in place, then why make ordinances if we’re not going to stand behind them? ... The proposed agreements are not in compliance with Chapter 155 and are not in the best interest of Montgomery County and our citizens. I will expect full compliance with Chapter 155. As Commissioner I take this seriously and will use all legal methods to protect the people.”
Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday requesting county commissioners adopt a moratorium on the acceptance of any applications for wind turbines and related equipment.
"I'm concerned there's something we're missing and I would like to propose that we put a committee together to look at this a little further," Pullen said as attendees burst into applause. Stacy Odom, also a plan commission member, later agreed with Pullen, calling wind energy an ever-changing industry and that local rules would ideally reflect that somehow.
The anti-wind crowd got a couple of big laughs Tuesday at the fact that not one single person stood up at the Henry County Planning Commission to speak in favor of the ordinance on the table about wind turbines.
The Henry County Planning Commission voted to send the "wind energy conversion system" ordinance back to the county commissioners with no recommendation. The final decision is now in the hands of commissioners.
The Henry County Planning Commission voted to send the "wind energy conversion system" ordinance back to the county commissioners with no recommendation. The final decision is now in the hands of commissioners. The proposed ordinance would allow a wind energy company to build turbines 1,500 feet from any house or 750 feet from somebody's property line.
The reasons cited for banning it outright included the safety and welfare of the community, flicker issues, and questions about the county’s ability to provide fire protection to the structures. Those were many of the same concerns raised by the 17 audience members who spoke during the hearing.
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.
Wind issues were blown away from the Henry County Commissioners’ agenda Wednesday night by concerns over planning commission matters.
A judge will decide whether to throw out a lawsuit regarding a proposed Cass County wind farm this week. Two landowners claim a county wind ordinance would violate their property rights.
The Miami County Planning and Building Commission approved amendments to the county’s wind energy ordinance that at least one official said would essentially kill any prospect of future wind turbine installation in the county.
Reading the full ordinance to the full house took approximately an hour, with the most notable change being the 2,000-foot setback for wind turbines from property lines, roadways, conservation lands and other structures and protected areas. That’s double the setback laid out in the current ordinance, which was adopted in 2011.
The Ford County Board’s zoning committee met and listened to public comments about wind farms from a crowd Monday night. Speakers included representatives of wind farm companies, residents who want tighter control of those companies and even a member of the Iroquois County Board.