Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 20, 2013

Letters to the editor - Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013

Setback rules apply only to housing

A recent letter to the editor implied that you will no longer be able to build structures on your property if the proposed building is within the setback distance to wind turbines. Mr. Salsbery’s concern is certainly valid and should be addressed, so I looked up the ordinance online.

It is important for everyone to know the truth about the building ordinances in Tipton County, and the only way to truly know the meaning of the language is to read the text. What I read in the ordinance and what Mr. Salsbery was apparently told are two different things.

To give those in attendance the benefit of the doubt, perhaps those members and staff at the planning commission meeting did not have their code book in front of them or misunderstood the question when giving the answer. The truth is that the setback rules apply only to residential structures. A simple review of the ordinance (available on the county’s website) in Section 522.07, page 5-58, clearly states the setback requirement only applies to “Residential dwellings.”

In other words, structures used to house humans cannot be erected in the setback area without BZA approval. However, other structures, including barns, pole barns, sheds, lean-tos, garages, swimming pools, hot tubs, decks, gazebos, etc., can be erected, as long as the owner applies for a regular building permit that would have been required regardless of setback rules — certainly not an undue hardship.

A special exception that must be brought before the BZA is not required for these structures.

Of course, the structure requiring the regular building permit would also have to meet the structural quality standards set out in the code. In plain written language, you have not totally “lost the right to use of your land as you desire” as implied. I believe this clarification is important.

Gary David, Tipton

Some Tipton farmers ‘blinded by dollars’

My father, as a young man, grew up on his father’s farm. I grew up when farmers worked with neighboring farmers, and had each others interests at heart.

This new generation of farmers are different! They receive large subsidies from the government (our tax dollars). I have no problem with that! I like cheap food in this country.

Where I really part company with these farmers is when, for a little money — $10,000 to $12,000 per turbine, per year — they no longer think of themselves or their neighbors, in the long run! They’re blinded by dollars!

They don’t know that seed companies will no longer have them plant seed corn or seed beans on their property because the pollen will travel 1 to 3 miles from a wind turbine! Do your homework, farmers. I did!

Farmers, your greed has put us in this position! You know who you are! You have split Tipton County in half over this issue. You’ve caused heartache and pain to your neighbors — for a few extra bucks!

Wake up! This is some of the richest soil in the country. Why put wind turbines on it?

Jim Leffler, Tipton