Wind farm opponents hope for 2-year decision delay

Associated Press
May 31, 2013
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Opponents of a proposed central Indiana wind farm who say the site is too heavily populated and would harm property values want county officials to delay action on the project for at least two years.

Muncie and Delaware County plan commission chairman Tom Green urged county officials on Thursday to study the impact of existing Indiana wind farms for at least two years before deciding how to regulate them in Delaware County. The commission is scheduled to act June 6 on Green's request.

Kathy Gresh, one of the leaders of a group opposed to the proposed E.ON Climate & Renewables wind farm in eastern Delaware County and western Randolph County, said she's "very pleased" with Green's proposal to delay a decision on the farm.

"That's what we asked to start with — slow down, get the facts, check into everything. I think they're going to do that now. We feel like we have been listened to," she told The Star Press.

County Commissioner Sherry Riggin said E.ON is hoping to build 22 to 29 wind turbines in Delaware County. The project's opponents hope to keep wind farms out of the county by pushing for a 2-mile setback between wind turbines and dwellings — a provision that would leave little or no room for a project.

The plan commission has been considering a 1,320-foot setback, although any regulations adopted by the plan commission are subject to final approval by the county commissioners.

County council member Mike Jones said E.ON has canceled an appearance before the council at which it was scheduled to ask for property tax abatement for the project. He said the council had been poised to "most likely turn it down."

Jones said he lives on the fringe of the proposed wind farm, as does council member Rick Spangler. He said Council President Kevin Nemyer lives "in the heart of it."

E.ON spokesman Matt Tulis declined to comment, saying the company's policy is "not to discuss project specifics at this stage of development."

Jones said any increase in property tax revenues from a wind farm in the county would be offset by a drop in property taxes from homes whose values will drop because of their proximity to towering wind turbines.

Wind farm opponent Jim Leffler said the value of homes in the vicinity of wind farms drops 20 percent to 40 percent and even more in some cases.

Other opponents said the wind turbines' red blinking lights at night to alert passing aircraft to the towering machines' presence would make homeowners feel like there is an emergency vehicle parked outside all night long. Others said the sound of wind turbines operating is irritating and can cause migraines, sleep deprivation and nausea.

"It's the worst, God-awful sound," said Delaware County resident Dave Meranda.


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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.