TIPTON — The Tipton County Plan Commission has approved a new ordinance that will regulate the development of wind farms in the future.
After months of discussing changes to the county’s existing wind ordinance, plan commission members voted Wednesday to recommend the amended wind ordinance to the Tipton County Commissioners.
The new ordinance sets the following: setbacks will be 1,500 feet from a property line and 2,640 feet from a residential dwelling; shields will be placed on turbine lighting; shadow flicker is limited to 30 minutes per day and 30 hours per year; and noise levels are limited to 5 decibels above the ambient level. It also address how wind farms will be approved in the future.
Plan commission members voted to change the procedure for future wind farm developments in the county.
Currently the Board of Zoning Appeals has to grant a conditional use permit for the development of wind ordinance.
The new ordinance will create overlay districts where wind farms may be built.
Developers will have to request rezoning from the plan commission using the new setback requirements.
Wind companies, if granted approval for the overlay district by the plan commission and board of commissioners, can petition the BZA for a variance to lower the setback requirements.
For three hours in the packed auditorium of the 4-H building, commission members listened to opponents and supporters state their positions on the future of wind farms in Tipton County.
The public testimony revisited many of arguments concerning wind energy presented since juwi Wind applied for a conditional use permit for the proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm in northwestern Tipton County.
Mark Lynn, representing the anti-wind coalition Citizens for Responsible Development, said the group wanted to ban future wind farm developments.
The CRD wanted a three-mile setback and a property value guarantee, Lynn said, if the commission was going to vote in favor of allowing future wind energy projects.