Although the expiration date for one of Henry County’s proposed wind farm projects has come and gone, its termination date has been stayed until at least the middle of June.
The Flat Rock Wind Project’s commission approved use (CAU) to build wind turbines in Dudley and Franklin Townships was set to end May 21. The CAU had already been extended by one year in 2016.
“They will not be considered expired while the planning commission is going through the process,” said Henry County Zoning Administrator Darrin Jacobs, referring to the Henry County Planning Commission’s vote on extending the CAU.
The Flat Rock Wind Project is a subsidiary of Apex Clean Energy. Representatives from Apex and the Flat Rock Wind Project asked the county planning commission May 18 to give them another one-year extension on their commission approved use of the land.
The Henry County Planning Commission rescheduled the request hearing for the CAU extension after they failed to receive enough votes to take action on the request.
The planning commission needed at least five votes to either approve or deny the extension. With one member absent and one abstaining, a split vote lead the commission to reschedule Apex’s extension request for their June 15 meeting.
Jacobs explained a commission approved use does not permanently stay with the property like a rezoning would. Instead, a CAU has a built in time limit similar to a building permit.
Also, if the specifications for a commission approved use are not followed, it could potentially create an actionable or enforcement situation similar to any other development code violation, he said.
If the Henry County Planning Commission does not grant Apex’s extension request in June, or if they decide to take no action on the request, the CAU for that land will expire immediately, Jacobs said.
Apex would have to begin the entire CAU request process again if their current one expires.
“It would be essentially as if it’d never happened,” Jacobs said. “Whatever was granted would no longer be a granted use… They would in essence be defunct.”
The Henry County Planning Commission meets again at 6:30 p.m. June 15 at the county courthouse, 101 S. Main St., New Castle.
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