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Commissioners Approve Amendment to Telecommunication and WECS Ordinance

June 20, 2011

06/21/11 The rules were suspended and the Marshall County Commissioners passed two amendments to the County’s Zoning Ordinance on all three readings during their meeting Monday morning.

Public hearings were held for the amendment to the Wind Energy Conversion System.  Ralph Booker explained that in the “Intent” portion the verbiage could have implied that all wind energy produced in Marshall County would only be used in Marshall County.  The new language approved is simplified to say that WECS operations in the County is subject to reasonable restrictions that are intended to protect the health and safety of the public.

During the Public Hearing on the amendment to the Telecommunication ordinance Travis Dexter from 16C Road in Culver asked how they regulate projects to protect the public’s health and safety.  Booker explained with site plans, set-backs, and the need for a special use variance to be granted by the BZA as some methods protecting the public.  Dexter specifically asked about ‘shadow flicker’ from wind towers and the medical issues that can affect residents in the area.  Booker once again explained that site plan approval and the Board of Zoning Appeals would be their protection.

Dexter asked how the county would enforce the portion of the ordinance that pertains to noise. Booker said that if they received a complaint they would have to purchase the mechanism to test the levels of noise.  He also asked where concerns of citizens health and safety would be addressed.  Once again Booker said concerns should be addressed during the planning stages of the application prior to construction but afterwards complaints should be addressed to the BZA.  Dexter’s final question was asking if the county could consider a ‘property value guarantee’ specifically as it pertains to the proposed wind farm in the County’s south center and western area.   The commissioners said it hadn’t been talked about but suggested he bring up the idea to the County Plan Commission.

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