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August 24, 2013

Tipton County changing future wind farm setbacks

Turbines must be half-mile from residential dwelling.

The setbacks for the placement of future wind turbines in Tipton County have been changed to 2,640 feet from the nearest residential dwelling.

Members of the Tipton County Plan Commission voted Thursday on several proposed changes to the county’s wind ordinance.

The commission set as the minimum setback distance at 1,500 feet from a wind turbine to the nearest property line, but then added the provision that a turbine has to be a half-mile (2,640 feet) from the nearest residential structure.

Commission members also approved a recommendation that no wind turbine be located within one mile (5,280 feet) of a municipal boundary or county boundary.

Jason Henderson, president of the Plan Commission, said residential non-participating property owners could waive the setback requirement in writing.

The proposed changes to the wind ordinance would not impact the proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm in northwestern Tipton County being planned by juwi Wind.

The Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals earlier approved a conditional use permit with the conditions the turbines can’t be placed within 1,500 feet of a non-participating residential property line and required a property value guarantee.

The BZA will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Tipton High School auditorium to consider juwi’s proposed property value guarantee.

Henderson said he will work with an Ad Hoc Committee of six local residents to develop a procedure for complaints filed against the wind farm operator. He said the process has to include an arbitrator and a fee for filing of a complaint.

Several other changes in the county’s wind ordinance were approved by commission members including:

All lighting shall adhere to but not exceed requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration. The ordinance will include a provision for an FAA approved Aircraft Detection System to activate the red lights on the top of the tower when aircraft approaches the wind farm.

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