Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 4, 2013

Tipton Co. may revise wind ordinance

Proponents and opponents unhappy with new rules

TIPTON – The Tipton County Board of Commissioners could be voting on a revised ordinance for the regulation of wind farms that received a favorable recommendation from the Tipton County Plan Commission that have both sides in the contentious fight over wind energy unhappy with the final product.

Following months of discussions between Plan Commission members and opponents and proponents of wind energy in the county, the Plan Commission voted 5-to-3 last month on revisions to the county’s ordinance.

The commissioners can either accept or reject the proposed amendments to the wind ordinance or send it back to the Plan Commission with recommended changes.

The Tipton County Commissioners meet at 9 a.m. today on the second floor of the county courthouse and Steve Edson, director of the Tipton County Planning Department hopes they vote to certify the amended ordinance.

The final version of the amended ordinance has both supporters and opponents of wind energy unsatisfied with the final version.

Jeff Harlow, a supporter of wind farms, said the proposed changes are “absolutely opposed by landowners.

“It practically shuts everything down,” he said. “With the setbacks there is no hope for wind farm development.”

Proponents were disappointed that proposed “Good Neighbor” policy language was not included which would have required developers to inform surrounding property owners of a planned development 30 days before any official action was sought.

Jeff Hoover with the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development said the group would have liked to have seen a complete ban.

“The revised ordinance does offer some protections to the citizens of Tipton County,” he said. “It’s not a perfect ordinance, but better than what we now have.”

Opponents of wind farms wanted included a property value guarantee which would have protected property owners for the loss of any value of their property based on the proximity to a wind turbine.

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