Wayne County residents will have an opportunity to give their opinion of wind farms during a special meeting of the Wayne County Advisory Plan Commission next week.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5 in Commissioner’s Chambers at the Wayne County Annex Building.

The public hearing will give those interested or affected by the proposed changes to the county’s ordinance regarding large wind turbines a chance to share their thoughts. EDP Renewables North America LLC, the company that operates the Headwaters Wind Farm in Randolph County, is considering developing a wind farm in Wayne County.

Wayne County’s ordinance would change the zoning requirements for erecting large wind turbines and refine wording in the ordinance regarding small wind turbines.

Large wind turbines are defined as having a total height of more than 100 feet, or a swept area of more than 30 feet, and a capacity of more than 50 kilowatts per tower.

The county ordinance currently requires a special exception from the Wayne County Board of Zoning Appeals, and the ordinance under consideration instead would require a variance from the BZA, said Ken Paust, president of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. In evaluating the request, the BZA could put additional restrictions on the project.

“It’s harder to get a variance than a special exception,” Paust said. “If it becomes law, it makes it more difficult for the wind turbine company to place wind turbines in Wayne County."

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