SHARPSVILLE – Wind farm opponents want the town of Sharpsville in northwestern Tipton County to create a 2-mile zoning buffer around the city limits.
Supporters of the Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development approached the Sharpsville Town Council with the proposal. Sharpsville currently has no jurisdiction on zoning matters beyond the town boundary.
Sharpsville is located near the proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, which has obtained a conditional use permit from the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals.
Wind farm developer juwi Wind has voluntarily moved the nearest proposed wind turbine between three-quarters of a mile and one mile from Sharpsville and the Prairie Acres subdivision.
Since the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm has already received approval, a 2-mile zoning buffer would not impact the project.
Rob Rupe, president of the town council, said the idea was previously discussed during the planning stage for the U.S. 31 bypass around Kokomo, but no action was taken.
“We can have a 2-mile zoning area,” he said. “We’re researching the steps needed to get the zoning jurisdiction.”
Steve Edson, Tipton County planning director, said it would be a lengthy process for the town council to create the zoning buffer. Sharpsville would have to develop a comprehensive plan, appoint a plan commission and a board of zoning appeals.
The Tipton County Board of Commissioners would have to approve the creation of any zoning jurisdiction around Sharpsville.
Emily West, spokeswoman for the CRD, said the group doesn’t want wind turbines located next to anyone’s residence.
“Everyone needs a 2-mile protection around their homes,” she said. “We understand Sharpsville’s desire to have room for the town to grow.”
West said the group believes in equal protection for all property owners regardless of where they’re located in Tipton County.
At the Aug. 5 meeting of the Howard County Commissioners, the town of Converse said it too was considering a 2-mile zoning jurisdiction around the town.
Converse, which straddles the Miami and Grant county line, is in the proximity of the proposed second phase of the Wildcat Wind Farm being developed by E.ON Climate & Renewables in Howard County.
E.ON has not applied for improvement location permits for the placement of wind turbines.
Converse is in the process of amending its comprehensive plan and already has a plan commission and board of zoning appeals.
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