It was standing room only at the Whitley County Plan Commission meeting Wednesday night. People are concerned about the possibility of an 18 thousand acre wind farm moving into their back yards.
About 70 people showed up and it was the first opportunity for many to find out about possible zoning changes to regulate wind energy conversion systems or wind farms.
A company called Wind Capital Group is looking at southern Whitley County as potential location for their next wind farm. Although no formal petition has been submitted yet, the company is checking into wind patterns in the area. David Sewell, Executive Director of Whitley County Joint Planning & Building Department said, “They have already installed meteorological towers to test data on the wind to make sure it meets their certain criteria,”
The first of those towers went up this summer, and it will take about 18 months for the company to compile and analyze the data needed to make a final decision.
In reference to the proposed zoning changes, Sewell said, “This ordinance does not authorize a project. It just provides for the regulations that any development company coming in would have to comply with”
Some members of the community voiced concerns about noise from the windmills, property value depreciation, and the appropriate distance a windmill will be required to be from a residence.
Larry Long lives in the community and attended the meeting Wednesday night. He said, “There are more things to look at than what they brought up tonight. I think it would really be handy to have an independent study,”
The commission voted to have further discussion and get more public input about the zoning plan at its November meeting.
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