Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 29, 2013

Tipton puts stop to wind farms

Moratorium to be considered April 18

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune staff writer

Tipton — Tipton County will not accept any new applications for the development of a wind farm.

Steve Edson, director of the Tipton Plan Commission, said Thursday that he could administratively refuse to accept any wind farm application that did not have road, economic development and decommissioning agreements with the Tipton County Commissioners.

“I won’t accept any applications,” he said.

As has become common at hearings involving wind farm development, the Plan Commission meeting room was overflowing with members of the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development (CRD), a group opposing the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm.

The Tipton Plan Commission was meeting in a special session to consider placing a moratorium on wind farm developments.

Jason Henderson, vice president of the Plan Commission, said county attorney John Brook recommended a public hearing take place before any action is taken.

The Plan Commission voted 6-0 to set a public hearing for April 18 to consider whether to impose a moratorium. The time and place will be announced at a later date.

The Plan Commission voted to suspend receipt of further applications until the wind ordinance is amended or Dec. 31.

Plan Commission member Jim Ashley said the commission was responding to the concerns of the community over expansion of wind energy.

“I’m concerned about the rapid pace of development,” Ashley said. “The Plan Commission office has been overwhelmed by the circumstances. I support development, but it shouldn’t be driven by the developer.”

Commissioner Joe VanBibber said the process used in Tipton County, which requires approval of a conditional use permit, is a bad process.