Huntington County commissioners have voted 2-1 Monday to pass the wind turbine ordinance which was recommended by the Huntington County Plan Commission, but some of the commissioners aren’t happy with what they voted for.
Commissioner president Tom Wall made it clear in the meeting that he wasn’t satisfied with the plan commission’s recommendations. He wanted to see more than a 1,000-foot setback from homeowner’s property lines, but he said they had to vote for it to update the 2009 ordinance.
“I wanted to see more changes done, but because of the process, it was done at the plan commission and brought back to us for approvals,” Wall said.
The ordinance that was voted on Monday addresses noise levels and who would finance taking down the turbines if they’re no longer working, which aren’t in the 2009 ordinance.
Wall mentioned at Monday’s meeting that commissioners wanted to explore an option to repeal the 2009 wind turbine ordinance and start over, but state statute doesn’t allow any appeal of an ordinance.
It was explained to the commissioners that they didn’t have to vote on the matter, instead could send it back to the plan commission for updating. Wall said with Apex Clean Energy wanting to submit an application to bring wind turbines to the southeastern part of the county, they wanted Apex to follow the new ordinance instead of the 2009 ordinance.
A couple dozen of Huntington County homeowners showed up to Monday’s meeting. They weren’t happy with the commissioners’ decision.
“The vast majority of Huntington County citizens oppose this ordinance, and yet it passed,” said David Carroll.
Joan Null lives in Whitley County and attended Monday’s meeting. She said Huntington County’s ordinance could affect surrounding counties.
“For instance, Huntington County says a 1000 foot setback, what does that do to the folks who live on the border between Whitley and Huntington county,” said Null. “Whitley County has a half a mile setback.”
The commissioners will be sending the ordinance back for further review by the plan commission.
“We are also sending it back to the plan commission to make some other changes on basically noise and also the distances,” he said.
Wall said the plan commission can decide to make revisions or not within the next 90 days.
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