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Wind farm change request denied; Developers sought elimination of property value guarantee  

Credit:  By Ken de la Bastide | Kokomo Tribune | August 19, 2013 | kokomotribune.com ~~

TIPTON – The company proposing to build the Prairie Breeze wind farm in northwestern Tipton County has been denied its request to eliminate a property value guarantee from one of the conditions for the project.

Developer juwi Wind filed the amendment with the Tipton County Plan Commission.

Steve Edson, director of the commission, said he made an administrative decision to deny the request.

The company was granted a conditional use permit by the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals in March for the project in Liberty and Prairie townships. The BZA required the company to develop a property value guarantee and established a 1,500-foot setback for the placement of turbines from property lines as conditions of the permit.

Prairie Breeze is a $300 million development that would generate up to 150 megawatts of electricity through up to 94 wind turbines.

The developer’s proposed property value guarantee will be heard by the BZA on Aug. 28 at the Tipton High School auditorium starting at 5 p.m.

“We have always contended that a property value guarantee is not necessary and the precedent would make it more difficult for Tipton County to recruit new business and industry in the future,” Michael Rucker, CEO of juwi Wind, said of the request to eliminate the condition. “At the same time, we felt we could balance the BZA’s desire for property value protection with the $300 million investment in the community. The current biased approach to our modifications is eliminating the opportunity for that balance.”

Rucker said elimination of the property value guarantee will be a part of the company’s presentation Aug. 28.

When asked if eliminating the guarantee was an attempt to reach a compromise with the county, Rucker said the BZA’s decision to not hear a request to modify setbacks made that impossible.

“By denying hearing our request for modifications to the decision July 31, they did not consider compromise, nor due process,” he said. “juwi is still happy to consider reasonable conditions that allow this $300 million investment in Tipton County to move forward.”

The company submitted a plan covering residential property within three-quarters of a mile of a wind turbine and involving only the first sale after Prairie Breeze goes into operation.

The maximum amount juwi would be required to spend is $1 million.

The BZA voted in July to not consider juwi’s request to change setbacks to 1,400 feet from a residence and 750 feet from the property line of non-participating property owners and 1,250 feet from the residence of participating property owners.

Source:  By Ken de la Bastide | Kokomo Tribune | August 19, 2013 | kokomotribune.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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