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Tipton County approves $300M wind farm, with limits

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A central Indiana county has given the go-ahead to a proposed $300 million wind farm while also approving restrictions that address concerns about the project's impact on property values.

The Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals approved a conditional use permit Wednesday for Colorado-based juwi Wind's plans for up to 94 wind turbines on 16,000 acres capable of generating up to 150 total megawatts of power.

The approval means the company can move forward as long as it guarantees it won't diminish property values and that the wind turbines are built at least 1,500 feet from property lines.

Company officials have 30 days to appeal the permit.

Proponents and opponents of the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm filled Tipton High School's auditorium Wednesday evening, and a video screen displayed the meeting in the lobby to accommodate the large crowd. Members of opposition group Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development wore white shirts, many with flashing red lights that represent the lights placed on top of wind turbines.

More than 140 local residents addressed the board to either support or oppose the project. Each was given two minutes to speak.

Proponents of the plan argue that there is no statistical evidence that property values would be affected by the turbines.

The only U.S. county that has a guaranteed property value provision for wind farm placement is DeKalb County in northeastern Illinois. The energy company would provide the difference between the sale price and the appraised value if a property owner couldn't sell his or her home for the appraised value.
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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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