CRAWFORD COUNTY—Crawford County Commissioners unanimously voted this afternoon to start the process of Public Hearings to be held for community input regarding proposed wind turbines in Crawford County. According to Senate Bill 52, the law allows a county to determine areas that are “off-limits” to large wind and solar projects and material amendments to existing projects. The purpose for allowing a county to make a restricted area designation is to help prevent conflicts over siting solar and wind facilities in areas where a facility is not wanted. However, the law does not contain any standards or criteria for designating restricted areas.
The new provisions in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Sections 303.58 and 303.59 give authority to a board of county commissioners to designate “restricted areas” in the county where construction of an economically significant wind farm, large wind farm, or large solar facility would be prohibited. At least 30 days before a meeting to discuss the designation of the areas, the board of county commissioners must give public notice in a county newspaper and provide notice by first-class mailing to all townships, school districts, and municipalities within the proposed restricted areas. The commissioners must also submit a map that shows the boundaries of proposed restricted areas for public view at all county libraries. Persons may attend the commissioner meeting and provide comments on a restricted area proposal.
If approved, a restricted area designation is effective 30 days after the approval. Once a designation is effective, the Ohio Power Siting Board may not accept an application for a certificate to build or operate a solar or wind utility facility within the designated restricted area. A restricted area designation does not apply to an application already submitted to and not rejected.
In a motion made by Commissioner Tim Ley and agreed to by commissioners Doug Weisenauer and Larry Schmidt, a resolution was adopted. A date was set for the public hearings.
Residents are invited to share their input regarding the placement of wind turbines in Crawford County with the Commissioners on Thursday, April 21st at 1:00 pm in the Youth Building at the Crawford County Fairgrounds, located at 610 Whetstone Street in Bucyrus.
Crawford County Now reached out to officials with Apex Energy for comment. No response was received.
Crawford County Now will continue to cover this developing story.
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