An unusually large crowd filled the DeWitt County Courtroom Monday evening for the monthly land use committee.
The land use committee Monday discussed the changes a group of DeWitt County residents in opposition to the proposed wind farm in northern DeWitt County are proposing. The group wants to have notification changes in place for the public and DeWitt County Zoning Administrator, Angie Sarver, feels a change in the notification for the public would single out wind energy.
The heighth of the wind turbines is also among the nearly dozen changes to the ordinance those in opposition are requesting. The information Sarver has indicates the taller the wind towers are, the fewer that get installed, however, the group wants to have the tower height be reduced to avoid the red-flashing lights required by the FAA.
The Committee decided they would not give a recommendation to the Board but allow them to decide on the height of the structure.
The biggest talking point among the opposition to the wind farm is the setback distance from a property line. Committee Chair for the Land Use Committee, Sue Whitted says the proposed 32-hundred feet is too much but would like it to be greater than the ordinance's 15-hundred feet.
In discussing the setback distance change recommendation for the full DeWitt County Board, Board member Jay Wickenhauser pointed out the arguments had mostly come from the opposition but he pointed out there were land owners with signed agreements who needed to be thought of in this process.
The committee ultimately decided to also send this issue back to the full board to discuss without a recommendation as there was not a consensus among the five-member committee.
Sarver recommended adding an ordinance clarifying zoning jurisdiction and incorporated areas of the county where the County controls the zoning. She explains this allows them to have a say in the process, stemming from much of the community's opposition to the project.
Sarver indicated throughout the meeting, many of the concerns voiced by the oppositions are already addressed in the ordinance in place.
The Board sent the ordinance change proposals back to the full DeWitt County Board to be discussed next Thursday night at 6 pm.