Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Indiana
Hundreds of wind-farm opponents pack meeting to discuss changes to wind ordinance
A representative of the renewable energy company EDP Renewables approached the Jasper County Commissioners on the morning of Monday, March 5 to discuss plans for a wind farm which may require use of a local county road. The project, a wind farm, would be located in Benton County. The project was planned to be placed at 2,000 feet west of Benton County Road 1100 East and therefore about 1,500 feet West of Jasper County Road 380, south of Jasper County Road 1900 South. If all goes as intended for the company, Construction may start as early as sometime in April.
A major change to the ordinance involves the noise limit emitting from a wind turbine from 60 decibels to 48 decibels. The second change would increase the required setback for property lines from 1,300 feet to 1,500 feet. ...The noise decibel level will be measured at the nearest primary structure for a participating landowner or at the nearest property line of a non-participating landowner.
"Too often I see county governments be enticed by the thought of additional tax revenue without raising taxes," Martis said Saturday. "But in truth, placing turbines in just a few townships for countywide revenue enhancements is actually a decision to tax those few townships with the loss of amenity at home and quality of life without compensation."
The two hour plus evening in Denver featured a panel of concerned citizens, including Lynn Plummer-Studebaker, who helped lead Fulton County’s fight against wind turbines, former Miami County Commissioner Greg Deeds, as well as Larry Long and Joan Null, who both faced a similar battle in Whitley County - and won.
The county wind-farm statute requires a minimum setback of 1,000 feet from residential properties and bars property owners from building a residential structure within the setback area. That means even landowners who aren’t participating in the project could not build a residential building, or add onto their current home, if it’s within 1,000 feet of a wind turbine.
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The complaint refers to Cass County's wind energy conversion systems ordinance, which requires wind turbines to be at least 1,000 feet from homes. That means no homes can be constructed within 1,000 feet of wind turbines, which the complaint states "authorizes the taking of private property without compensation being paid."
Saunders said this legislation would require county officials or family members of county officials with financial interests in wind-powered devices in their county to recuse themselves from any official proceedings on that subject.
A Fulton County Area Plan Commission tie vote Monday means county commissioners’ decision to prohibit commercial wind energy conversion systems in the unincorporated area of the county will go into effect.
Hunt said his biggest issue with the ordinance is the 1,000-foot setback of turbines from residential dwellings. Under that rule, landowners could not build a home within 1,000 feet of a turbine, even if the tower wasn’t on their property.
McShirley claimed that someone in the local government ordered that the final version of the plan support wind energy development in Henry County. McShirley told the Henry County Council that a change ...makes the 168-page document “a $100,000 rubber stamp for pro-IWT (industrial wind turbine) interests.”
Joan Null, who said she was not part of Fulton County’s fight but has been involved in a number of wind ordinance battles across the state, made a recommendation to commissioners. “Please don’t leave yourself open … go ahead and make a declaration within your zoning ordinance that large WECS systems are not a permitted use in any zoning classification,” she said. “Close that door. Don’t leave it open for the next developer.”
Fulton County Commissioners received applause, cheers and a standing ovation from many of those who packed a building at the county's fairgrounds Monday night after voting down measures that would have paved the way for proposed wind turbines.
“We were able to receive good input from both sides of the issue,” he said. “The process was a little slower than we expected, but time is not the issue. We just want to make sure we do it right and that’s what we’re trying to do.
After several weeks of study, commissioners are ready to amend the county Wind Conversion System ordinance regarding the constant noise level that comes from an active windmill. Presently, the ordinance sets a maximum noise allowed at 60 decibels. Commissioners plan to set the maximum decibel level at 30.
INDIANAPOLIS — Some Hoosiers say the state needs to regulate how and where companies can build wind turbines.
As of this writing, local wind turbine projects seem to have run their course with local decision-makers. A lawsuit is still working its way through the system to clarify whether or not those boards ever had authority to give a green light to the power producers in the first place.
The denial means that NextEra and Apex will have to start from scratch with the Planning Commission in the approval process, should they wish to pursue a CAU again.
The Henry County Area Plan Commission, during its meeting Thursday night, effectively denied a year extension which had been requested by NextEra Energy Resources in regard to the West Fork Wind Project, along with denying a year extension for Apex Clean Energy concerning its Flat Rock Wind Project.