HAUBSTADT — Haubstadt Town Council adopted a resolution endorsing county-wide zoning Monday evening, a practice the town has had locally since 2007.

The endorsement came at the request of Kent Scheller, a Gibson County resident and physics professor at the University of Southern Indiana. Scheller is advocating for zoning as concern grows among community members in regard to the proposed industrial wind turbine farm impact on the Doppler radar tower near Owensville.

Scheller told board president Kenny Reinbrecht, members Chad Wallis and Eric Meny that he was making the request on behalf of concerned citizens who are trying to get some motion moving forward for county-wide zoning.

He said they are going to the individual towns to ask the governing bodies for support and an endorsement for county-wide zoning.

All three members of the board said they had no issues with the potential resolution. Wallis motioned to pass the resolution and it was seconded by Meny.

“I think it’s a great thing,” Reinbrecht said. “We’ve all agreed that county-wide zoning is what we need.”

Scheller’s request for the endorsement comes after he and other residents attended a Gibson County Commissioners meeting Sept. 17 and spoke in support of zoning.

During that meeting, Scheller asked commissioners to “enact an intelligent zoning ordinance” that could offer protection to residents.

"Any turbine inside an 11-mile radius will compromise the (Doppler) data," Scheller said in September.

He asked that the commissioners adopt an ordinance that would prohibit a wind farm from locating within a 20-mile radius of the Doppler tower.

Haubstadt and Princeton are the only communities in Gibson County which currently have zoning.

Haubstadt adopted its zoning ordinance in June 2007 and in 2011 there was a specific provision added regarding the regulation of wind energy and wind turbines.

In March of this year, Haubstadt zoning administrator Joe Gilpatrick said there had been no requests from E.ON Climate and Renewables about bringing turbines into the two-mile extraterritorial limit the town has set. Gilpatrick said that was a plus of zoning, if there were to be an issue the town could look at it.

Princeton has had a zoning ordinance since September 1981. The county has explored zoning within the past two years, with the issue being dropped in March 2018 after months of discussion.

The Daily Clarion reported in 2018 that zoning has been a long-controversial topic in the county, with the idea being explored and dropped about every five to 10 years since the 1970s. During the 2018 effort, opponents to zoning were vocal in their opposition and hired an attorney to challenge the process.
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