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Planners vote to toughen wind farm ordinance 

Credit:  Mark Howe, Times-Union Staff Writer | 10/4/2018 | timesuniononline.com ~~

Kosciusko County’s Area Plan Commission voted Wednesday to recommend to the county commissioners a series of amendments to the ordinance regarding wind power. If adopted by the commission, the revised ordinances will make it much more difficult to establish a wind farm in the county.

Among the changes, amendments would limit construction of turbines on land zoned Industrial III; increase the setbacks from property lines; regulate the height, noise level, vibration, shadow flicker and glare from night lights of towers; and require bond amounts for site abandonment and the decommissioning of tower sites.

The board also seeks to establish provisions to protect roads from heavy-truck traffic related to construction areas; tighten fire prevention and emergency response plans; and require the submission of maintenance logs to the county’s planning office.

Changes to the county’s solar farm ordinance were also approved.

The moves came after Lynn Studebaker spoke to the APC in August, encouraging the board to recommend either to ban or regulate industrial wind turbines. She cited declining property values, quality of life, environmental and remediation issues during her presentation.

Dan Richard, area plan director, said that despite advertising the changes to the ordinance, no one came forward to oppose the revisions.

The amended ordinances will be considered for action by the county commissioners on Oct. 16. They can opt to approve, further amend or reject the changes.

Other items on the agenda included the approval of a preliminary plat for a subdivision on the east side of Washington Street, east of First Street in Pierceton.

Developers Dana and Kathy Cone plan a residential development on the 6.35-acre plot. The couple has been working with Pierceton officials concerning utilities, road specifications and drainage.

Richard told the commission the plan would replace a plat dating back to 1869 and would vacate lots and roads. A drainage easement on the south side of the subdivision will need to be moved. The plat was approved pending the planning office being notified where the easement was moved, and an engineer approving stormwater runoff and erosion control plans.

After rezoning by the Board of Zoning Appeals, the APC put multiple conditions on approving a plat of land on Tippecanoe Lake for the creation of a subdivision there. The land is at the north end of Second Street in Oswego.

Among the conditions are a formal review of the drainage plan, approval of seawall construction plans and county approval of road specifications.

The commission voted to recommend approval to replat three lots at Shadow Lake Estates. The lots are along Superior Avenue, just off of Old U.S.?30 east of Warsaw.

Developer Steve Savage said the replat, which reduces the utility easement from 20 feet to 10, will allow homeowners more space in their backyards. Richard made it clear that because the replatting creates an encroachment with some utilities, if crews needed to come in to make repairs or upgrades, neither the utilities nor the county would be responsible for restoring anything that was displaced.

In other business the APC recommended approval for:

• A preliminary plat for Charles and Rose Cotton to build a second home on their property on CR 700S.

• Final plat approval for a single-home subdivision on Natti Crow Road.

• A final plat approval to create two lots at 1276 S. Ind. 25 near Warsaw.

• The vacation of a small plot of land where Kern Road once was in Syracuse. The road’s intersection with Syracuse-Milford Road (CR 1300N) was moved during construction of Syracuse Elementary School to improve sightlines. The land where the road used to run was vacated to Wawasee Community Schools.

Source:  Mark Howe, Times-Union Staff Writer | 10/4/2018 | timesuniononline.com

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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