Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

August 30, 2013

Prairie Breeze Wind Farm fight headed to court

BZA limits property value guarantee testimony.

(Continued)

“We’re not going to consider testimony to eliminate the property value guarantee,” Acres said.

Last month, Steve Edson, administrator of the Tipton County Plan Commission, denied a request from juwi Wind to consider elimination of the property value guarantee. Edson’s decision was based on its inclusion as a condition for the permit.

Solada said juwi Wind’s due process was being denied and asked if a majority of the BZA’s five members agreed with Acres’ position.

“A vote is not required,” he said.

Solada said if that testimony could not be presented, her client was being denied their due process rights.

Ochs objected to the decision and also cited denial of due process to his clients.

“The best decisions are reached when an emphasis is placed on making the right decision,” Ochs said. “This is a big decision worth millions of dollars. Instead of restricting testimony, the board should receive as much information as you can to make the right decision.”

Acres said juwi Wind and the leaseholders are upset with the BZA decisions and missed the chance to appeal the initial approval within 30 days of the March meeting.

“I’m trying to protect the integrity of the board. First you wanted to modify the decision, then amend it and now eliminate it,” he said, referring to the property value guarantee.

“Your intent is to sue,” Acres proclaimed. “Save everyone time and file it.”

Pat Hess, attorney for the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development, said it is the board’s decision on whether to take a vote. He said the petitioners had due process in March and failed to file an appeal that the conditions imposed by the BZA were unreasonable.

“They’re trying to make a case that you’re biased,” Hess told Acres. “They are trying to get you removed.”

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