The Jasper County Circuit Court room was packed with local citizens during Monday evening's meeting of the Jasper County Plan Commission. Staff photo by Nick Fiala
The Jasper County Circuit Court room was packed with local citizens during Monday evening's meeting of the Jasper County Plan Commission. Staff photo by Nick Fiala
RENSSELAER — The Jasper County Plan Commission approved amendments to the its wind ordinance that will place turbines up to as much as 2,400 feet away from nearby properties, roads or places of worship.

Among the changes the committee made Monday via its 7-1 vote are that each utility grade wind turbine system will at least 1,760 feet away from any non-participating property line, instead of the original 1,320 feet.

Also, each utility grade wind turbine system shall be a minimum distance of 1.5 times the tip height from any public road or above-ground utility.

When it comes to setbacks from off-site land uses, a utility grade wind turbine system will have a minimum setback requirement of 2,400 feet from any non-participating residential dwelling or place of worship, instead of the original 1,760 feet. Minimum setbacks from existing land currently zoned R1, R2, VR, M1 and M2 will be 2,400 feet as well, along with land from any platted residential subdivision with 10 or more lots.

A “no turbine zone” is also to be established for the area of Jasper County which lies north of County Road 1200 South, to protect the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and wildlife area and to protect and provide an aviation buffer in respect of the Jasper County Airport and established military operations within the county.

Background

The county’s previous wind ordinance draft was approved by the board of commissioners in February. Since that time, citizens have been told that there would be further changes to address concerns over wind turbine setbacks.

To that end, a special committee was formed, featuring members of all three major county government bodies — the board of commissioners, plan commission and the Jasper County Board of Zoning Appeals. It was hoped that having members from all three groups in one committee will speed up what local leaders have admitted is normally a time-consuming legislative process.

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