Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Indiana
Wind farms have begun appearing in Benton and White counties in northwest Indiana, and Marshall County could be next. Looking ahead to that possibility, the Marshall County Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on proposed ordinance changes for wind energy conversion systems and to raise the fee for commercial wind farm permits from $50 to $20,000.
The Carroll County Commissioners approved an ordinance Monday detailing rules and regulations for commercial wind energy developers. ...Setbacks, height restrictions, and pre-construction requirements, such as government clearances for historic structures and environmental issues, are part of the county's first ordinance about wind energy.
The Porter County Commissioners on Tuesday approved two amendments to the county's Unified Development Ordinance establishing the county's first-ever regulations on wind energy systems. One ordinance spells out the rules for small-scale, individual turbines, and the other consists of regulations for large wind farms. TradeWind Energy, based in Kansas, is currently in the process of getting leases in place from property owners in south Porter County.
Windmills might be making a comeback in Hancock County as a handful of residents show interest in alternative forms of energy. County officials say at least three people have expressed interest in recent months in putting wind turbines on their property. However, officials also are weighing evidence about the drawbacks of wind power -- including possible ill health effects.
More than 150 people came to a public forum Tuesday night at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds to learn more about wind energy. Two companies, EnXco and Gestamp Wind North America, are interested in placing wind farms in Boone County.
The Plan Commission voted Wednesday to send two new windmill ordinances to the County Commissioners for a vote Oct. 6. The need for the ordinances came about because Tradewinds, an Italian-backed power company, approached the county last winter about erecting up to 150 windmill towers on about 30,000 acres between Kouts and LaCrosse.
A Warrick County judge will rule again on a man's request to build a wind turbine on his property. On Wednesday, Warrick County Superior Judge Keith Meier heard oral arguments. He sent the case back to the zoning appeals board for a vote in his first ruling.
Energy generating wind turbines put up in St. Joseph County will soon have to conform to a new set of rules, aimed at keeping homeowners and their neighbors safe. The St. Joseph County Council passed the new regulations unanimously Tuesday. County leaders said they want the push toward "green" energy to continue, but not unchecked. ...But others say the regulations don't go far enough. They worry the windmills will still be too noisy, too visible, and could lower property values."
Does anyone else hear an echo of the ethanol boom from three summers ago? ...All of this makes the effort to erect two giant wind farms in Boone County, the state's second-windiest locale, worth watching. Putting in the 300-foot turbines is one thing in sparsely populated Benton County, but as Boone County's executive director of the area plan commission, Steve Niblick, said: "We are different than other counties with wind farms."
The Howard County Plan Commission referred the ordinance back to the Ordinance Study Committee on Tuesday and is expected to consider it again in May. Glen Boise, executive director of the Kokomo/Howard County Plan Commission, said there was considerable discussion about the language in the ordinance on a large wind system.
Members of the Elkhart County Board of Zoning Appeals got a taste of the wind power debate during their meeting Thursday morning. One petitioner's bid for a wind-powered generator was granted and another denied. ...Anita Miller, a nearby neighbor of Ntende's, voiced her concerns over possible dangers, such as electrical surges or falling debris due to the proposed windmill's proximity to surrounding homes and electrical lines.
E.ON Climate and Renewables hopes to establish a test tower southeast of Swayzee within the next two months. If results are satisfactory, the company could establish a 60,000-acre wind farm that stretches across four counties, including Grant, within the next three years. Andy Melka, the assistant development manager for E.ON, said the project is still in the planning stages, and it will be two to three years before Grant County residents see any significant construction.
It all depends on 11 miles per hour. A few variances in the wind speed near Elwood could determine whether a windmill farm comes to Madison County. E.ON, a wind energy company that recently put up 600 wind turbines in Texas, has approached Madison County officials about the northwestern section of Madison County north of Elwood, showing interest in building a windmill farm at the location.
The Hammond Port Authority's wind turbine project makes its way to the City Council on Monday. The council will be asked to consider a variance to allow the installation of wind turbines at two separate locations within Wolf Lake Memorial Park and Forsythe Park. ...Talks with U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have resulted in the city being asked to conduct a study after construction of the wind turbines and the findings being reported back, he said.
Rich Porter of rural Paxton said he believes that Ford County, like other counties, has relied too much on information supplied by wind energy representatives. Porter is convinced that wind farms could have a negative impact on the county land values, taxes and zoning issues. "Wind farms are not what they look like on the surface; they have many twists and turns," he warned during the public comment period at the board's Monday meeting.
At a public hearing prior to the Township Board's adoption of the amendment, Vines said the ordinance allows for one turbine for every 1.5 acres of residential property. But the device won't be allowed to emit a noise greater than 50 decibels, when measured at the nearest adjoining property line, and it can't be more than 80 feet high.
The city-county planning commission is developing regulations governing the installation of small wind turbines, which can be controversial. ...Permit requests for wind turbines can be controversial because of impacts on surrounding property owners as a result of noise, structural safety, potential for children to climb, bird collisions and appearance, according to APA.
A lawsuit between two Lebanon neighbors is being watched carefully by people in the wind turbine industry. The outcome could effect future commercial and residential development of wind turbines in Boone County and central Indiana.
Construction of a residential wind turbine east of Lebanon is being challenged by neighbors who claim the tower is not only a threat to their children and the environment, but illegal. ...Douglas and Nancy Miller, 1265 John Bart Road, want a court to overturn the BZA's approval, saying the 4-0 decision was "illegal, arbitrary and capricious." They filed suit on Sept. 28 in Boone Superior Court I. The Millers are represented by Krieg DeVault LLP, a Carmel law firm.
He said he returned from the June 17 and 18 conference set on writing wind turbine zoning rules for Porter County after seeing a climate map of the state that put the southern townships square in the path of steady prevailing winds. "It's coming. Porter County is prime," he said. He said he also found phone messages from at least three energy companies seeking information on what the county could offer and might require of a wind farm development.