MUNCIE – The chairman of the Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission has asked the commission to postpone the adoption of wind farm regulations until at least May of 2015.
The reason for the request is to gather more information on the impact that existing Indiana wind farms have had on communities.
“Among the items to be considered is the impact of such developments on property values,” Chairman Tom Green wrote in an email to Marta Moody, director of the commission. “A 2- to 3-year time frame will give us a chance to actually see how property values have been affected in areas around existing installations and watch the values in recently developed and soon-to-be developed areas within Indiana.”
Opponents of a wind farm being proposed for Delaware County claimed during a meeting this week that wind farms decrease residential property values 20 percent to 40 percent, depending on proximity to the wind farm, and that in some cases property values have dropped 80 percent.
“Perceived noise, infra-sound noise, shadow-flicker … the list (of concerns) goes on,” Green wrote. “I think we can all agree that, given the wrong set of guidelines, (wind farms) can cause health issues for some people. I believe that no one in the wind energy business disregards these issues, but I also believe that very few people in the general public truly understand these issues.”
Green also wrote: “I have noted many changes in policies around the country regarding this issue, some of those changes are a complete reversal of existing policy. Let us not make the same mistakes or reactions in providing guidance for our community.”
E.ON Climate & Renewables, which is planning to construct up to 29 wind turbines in Delaware County at a cost of $100 million, declined to comment on its project at this early stage of development. Another 30 wind turbines are planned in Randolph County as part of the same project at an additional cost of at least $100 million.
Green is a member of a commission wind energy committee that has been studying wind farm regulations.
As a result of his request, a special meeting of the plan commission scheduled for July 3 has been canceled.
Instead, the commission on June 3 will address Green’s proposal to withdraw wind farm regulations that were drafted by the committee.
Moody and Green noted that, as always, a wind farm developer could petition the Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals for a zoning variance to allow a wind farm.