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WIND ISSUE: Ordinance headed for public hearing

February 16, 2012


COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County residents are finally getting some wind back in their sails – or rather, their voice-boxes.

Following two consecutive Whitley County Plan Commission meetings closed to public discussion – the primary focus being the ongoing wind issue – a public hearing has been scheduled for March 21 to discuss the proposed amendment to the county zoning ordinance. Having reviewed and suggested revisions for most of the ordinance last month, Wednesday’s meeting was brief in comparison.

The revisions made at the previous meeting were checked with only minor clarifications asked pertaining to decommission and removal of wind turbines should one or more be abandoned or its service discontinued.
The remaining portion of the ordinance – mostly definitions – was also reviewed.

Prior to adjournment, Plan Commission Chairman Brandon Forrester explained the reasoning behind the ordinance and made it clear that the ordinance was just a step in a long road towards seeing wind turbines in Whitley County.

“We are creating an ordinance. We are not approving a wind farm,” Forrester said.

Forrester said one of the goals of the process started 23 months ago was to create a drafted ordinance and eventually establish a date, time and place for a public hearing.

Those values have been set. March 21. 6 p.m. The 4-H Center.

At this point, a vote could go either way; five or more votes in favor of, five or more votes in favor against. Once thing is certain – there will be plenty of “in favor of” and “in favor against” once the topic is once again open to the public for discussion come the next commission meeting March 21.
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