Tippecanoe County updates ordinance to ban industrial wind farms

Recent talk of a large wind farm has prompted county leaders to get ahead of how they want to handle it. They've decided that kind industrial development will no longer be allowed in Tippecanoe County

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 10:33 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 10:33 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Recent talk of a large wind farm has prompted county leaders to get ahead of how they want to handle it. They've decided that kind industrial development will no longer be allowed in Tippecanoe County.

"Wind turbines are not appropriate for our county," said Julie Peretin.

Peretin has been speaking on behalf of several Tippecanoe County residents who share the same concern. 

"We are too densely populated and we have some of the best farm ground in the state," said Peretin. 

Those concerns were heightened when representatives from Chicago-based Invenergy started reaching out to landowners.

"This is a commercial company so they are coming in, they are selling the power so the community isn't really seeing all the benefits," Peretin explained. 

Commissioner Tom Murtaugh said an updated ordinance would put those worries to rest.

"A change in the overall county ordinance that states that large wind systems will no longer be allowed in Tippecanoe County," he said. 

If passed landowners would still be able to put in wind turbines, it would just ban industrial wind farms.

"Wind farms are a great economic opportunity for rural areas and areas with declining populations," said Murtaugh. 

Tippecanoe County is growing rapidly, which is why committee members don't think the project is appropriate. 

"Our population is constantly growing, our economic development activities are escalating, to tie up that type of ground for up to 50 years is way premature," said Murtaugh. 

Peretin is happy with the decision, she believes it will allow growth and preserve quality farmland.

"A commercial developer who just kind of sweeps in, the potential to cause harm to a community can not be understated," she said. 

Area Plan Commission will re-work the ordinance next month, from there it will come back to the zoning committee for a final approval.

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