Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 20, 2013

Group: Tipton no place for wind farms

Opposition now wants a total ban on future developments

By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — TIPTON — No wind farms at all.

That’s the new stance of a group originally formed around opposition to the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm proposed for northwestern Tipton County.

The Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development was formed earlier in the year when the juwi Wind project was first announced and has concentrated its efforts in amending the county-wide ordinance to place greater restrictions on wind turbines.

Now the group wants a total ban on future wind farm developments in Tipton County.

In a packet of information sent to members of the Tipton County Plan Commission, which has been working on revisions to the wind ordinance, the CRD said its stance has always been to site industrial wind turbines in a way that protects the health, safety and property values of all citizens.

“Due to recent events and actions from the wind companies, leaseholders or wind contracts and county officials, the CRD position has changed to a complete ban in Tipton County,” the document read.

Jeff Hoover, a board member of the CRD, said Thursday that Tipton County is not in a position to have or maintain wind farms.

“There are lawsuits being filed and the complaints are being ignored,” he said complaints filed by residents living near the Wildcat Wind Farm in eastern Tipton County.

He said members of the CRD served on an ad hoc committee that made recommendations to the plan commission on changes to the wind ordinance, which included rules about setback requirements of at least 1,500 feet from property lines, noise levels and shadow flicker.

Hoover said the CRD wants the county’s zoning ordinance to be amended to not allow wind farms in the county.

“We hope the plan commission will listen to the majority of the county residents who are opposed to wind farm development,” he said.

Pat Hess, the CRD attorney, has submitted a proposed ordinance to the plan commission to ban future wind farm development in the county and recommends adoption by the Tipton County Commissioners.

Two requests for judicial review have been filed by juwi Wind and the leaseholders seeking to overturn restrictions placed on the proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm by the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals.

The court actions claim supporters of the project were denied their due process rights by the BZA and that the BZA conducted a July 31 meeting in violation of Indiana’s Open Door Law.