Express opinionat public hearing
On Wednesday, the Tipton County Plan Commission will be conducting a public hearing to get approval for its amendments to the WECS, the Wind Energy Conversion System zoning ordinance.
WECS, better known as industrial wind turbines, has been a controversial topic for the last 10 months. It has brought people together who have never met and has put neighbors, friends and family against each other.
A lot of time, energy and money, both private and taxpayers’ money, has been spent (wasted) on supporting or opposing turbines. The taxpayer portion is just beginning, with lawsuits that have been filed, and I am sure there are more to come.
The Plan Commission is offering a watered-down version. Although it will help protect non-participating residents with a 2,640-foot setback from the residence, unfortunately the board opted to leave the property value guarantee out. The commission also made provisions that allow participating landowners to have lesser distances to the turbines and ignore setbacks from property lines if both parties agree.
With the watered-down version, there still will be enough properties to make it to where you will not be able to drive through Tipton County without encountering the overbearing view of an enormous, 500-foot wind turbine. Without the property value guarantee, non-participating property owners will suffer monetary loss when attempting to sell.
At a recent Board of Commissioners meeting when they were questioned about the complaints, the commissioners asked why no one from the Wildcat 1 Wind Farm area ever comes to express their views. The answer offered by those in attendance was that they felt no one would listen. Unfortunately they are right.
The Board of Commissioners and the County Council have not stepped up to protect all the citizens of Tipton County. There are approximately 16,000 residents of Tipton County. So far only 200 or 300 have expressed their views, overwhelmingly against.