EUREKA – Developers of wind energy will have longer setbacks for towers if they choose to come to Woodford County.
The Woodford County Board voted 8-7 to approve the measure. About 90 people showed up for the board meeting, held last week, and about a dozen spoke in opposition to the changes.
The setback was increased from 750 feet to four times the height of the turbine. Backers said the change was needed to protect non-participating landowners from having turbines too close to their property.
“This is just protecting those who choose not to participate,” board member Shannon Rocke said. “This will not keep wind out of this county. Property rights to me are a big deal.”
But the people who spoke out against the changes and other board members disagreed.
“There’s no way any future wind farm will come here,” said Farrell Lord. “If you don’t care about other counties, you should care about the money.”
Board member Larry Whitaker said the wind farms are the new economic development and represent more funding for schools and the county, more jobs and more tax income.
Board member John Krug said the longer setback amounting to about 1,600 feet is not the same as in other contiguous counties, where setbacks are 1,250 to 1,500 feet.
Board member Doug Huser who chaired the CP&Z Committee that wrote the changes said several compromises were made during the process and the committee did a lot of research before presenting its recommendations to the Zoning Board of Appeals where they garnered large support.
“We’re not here to kill wind,” Huser said.
Voting in favor of the longer setbacks were Russ Cotton, Stan Glazier, Tom Evans, Doug Huser, Duane Kingdon, Barry Logan, Andrew Martin and Shannon Rocke.
Voting against the proposal were Don Cremeens, Mike Hinrichsen, Tom Janssen, Tom Karr, John Krug, Terry Pille and Larry Whitaker.
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