COLUMBIA CITY — Following nearly two years of discussion concerning a zoning ordinance regarding regulations for wind energy systems, the debate has finally ended. For now, anyway. The truth is the subject has merely shifted sails and is now making its way to the desks of the Whitley County Board of Commissioners, where there is little chance an approval or disapproval will be a quick process.
With that said, the topic has been in the hands of the Whitley County Plan Commission for some time, and through research, studies, committees, drafts, more drafts, debates, discussions, revisions and even more revisions, the commission finally voted Wednesday to give a favorable recommendation to the commissioners to adopt the ordinance they have worked tirelessly on.
The commission voted 6-1 on the recommendation.
Executive Director Dave Sewell said the next step is to have the recommendation certified and passed along to the county commissions. He has 10 days to comply with that state requirement, and following that the commissioner’s have 90 days to bring the ordinance to their agenda. Should the commissioners pass the ordinance, there is still much to be done before a wind company could begin a project.
As Sewell explained, things like a decommissioning plan, a site plan, a drainage plan, a safety plan, a sound commissions study — must all be submitted and approved prior to ground ever breaks on a wind turbine.
For now, the ordinance and discussions thereof will die down, until things pick up again in front of the Whitley County Board of Commissioners.
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