Post and Mail photo / James Thomlison
Whitley County Commissioner George Schrumpf and Plan Commission member Paula Reimers
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Opinions on the wind turbine issue were blowing in opposite directions Wednesday when the Whitley County Plan Commission met to review and modify a proposed ordinance designed to govern the installation of such devices.
Though the commission reviewed most of a draft of the proposed ordinance, there are several as-yet unresolved issues â€” including that topic which helped draw more than 100 residents to the Wednesday night meeting â€” setbacks.
The set distance a turbine must be from a residence, property line, road, railway, overhead transmission line and other structures in the area has been the hot-button issue in Whitley County for more than a year.
Mondayâ€™s ordinance review originally had the distance for non-applicants set at a minimum 750 feet from the property line, or 1,200 feet from the residence, whichever is greater.
Those numbers didnâ€™t last long, as George Schrumpf immediately questioned the specifications.
â€śMy concern is for the non-applicants. Iâ€™m not sure I agree with 1,200 feet,â€ť said Schrumpf, noting that a neighboring county set its number at 1,000 feet, but the local wind company changed it to 1,500 feet. â€śTo me thereâ€™s a reason for that. We have to look at that and be responsible with what we do.â€ť
The final vote established 1,000 feet from a co-applicant residence with the option to waive the distance to make it shorter if the residence owner so chooses. A vote for 1,500 feet from the property line of a non-applicant took the majority.
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