Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Indiana
The opponents got their way.
The Posey County Commission voted on Tuesday to send the proposed windmill ordinance back to the area plan commission, opting not to vote on the ordinance. The proposed ordinance would regulate both wind farms and solar farms. Commissioners don’t believe the two should be linked together and request that the two should be separated into two different ordinances.
The Henry County courtroom filled with cheers and applause Thursday evening after the Board of Zoning Appeals voted down an appeal from Big Blue River Wind Farm LLC.
Clinton County commissioners upheld a moratorium against wind turbines Sept. 16, continuing its ban on wind farms. The moratorium has been in place since February 2017.
It’s been just about two months since the Henry County Planning Commission did not approve a wind farm request. Thursday, the planning commission members made it official: they have denied a request from Big Blue River Wind Farm.
A 3-0 vote Monday morning will keep a moratorium in place. First placed in 2017, it bans wind farms from being built in Clinton County. "I'm sure there are plenty of folks that are frustrated and disappointed, but at the end of the day we felt like this was the best decision for our county," said Clinton County Commissioner Joshua Uitts.
A proposed wind farm in Henry County won’t be built. The Henry County Planning Commission voted Tuesday night on the controversial proposal that would have added a Big Blue Ribbon Wind Farm to the area.
Commissioner John Frey says that’s because county residents don’t want wind energy, a position reflected in the comprehensive plan. “We’re going to be just fine without wind energy,” Frey says. Erin Baker ...says this ordinance does put a stop to their plans. “Not only is this disappointing, but it does have an air of finality to it,” she says.
Now the plan commission will revisit the proposed zoning ordinance when they meet again May 29. Last month’s meeting included a public hearing on the proposal with a majority of push-back against zoning, wind farm development or both. Before commissioners can consider anything, the plan commission must “sign off” on some kind of proposal, Taylor said. Five votes are needed to pass out of the commission and go to commissioners.
As protests mounted Monday about the message being sent to the rest of Indiana and world about Tippecanoe County’s commitment to green energy, the biggest turbines and commercial wind farms were banned from rural land around Lafayette and West Lafayette.
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.