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Starke County Commissioners consider resolution opposing House Bill 1381

The Starke County Commissioners considered a resolution Monday night that would express their opposition to House Bill 1381.

If passed, wind and solar companies would be able to install projects that meet state standards but may conflict with future economic development projects, planned residential development, or even road expansions.

Commission President Charlie Chesak said the resolution shows the county wants to control solar and wind energy installation decisions in the county.

County Attorney Marty Lucas stressed that the resolution does not mean that the commissioners are against solar or wind energy operations in the county.

“Starke County is not against solar,” stated Lucas. “We have limited areas in this county, for example, that are good for development. Like, say for example, the Sysco property. One of the issues I’m dealing with there, actually it’s Hamlet West, is that it’s a really good one for development, but if it’s given to another purpose, then you can’t use it for that anymore.”

A solar ordinance was recently passed by the commissioners which Lucas said was very “solar friendly”, but this resolution protects the “rights of persons and families living in a community to meaningfully participate in their future through planning, zoning and land use decisions”.

The commissioners passed the resolution with a unanimous vote. A copy of the resolution will be distributed to local legislators and the Association of Indiana Counties (AIC).

In March, AIC officials revealed that 60 county government leaders in the state approved similar resolutions opposing House Bill 1381.