CLINTON — A blow was dealt Tuesday to opponents of the Alta Farms wind energy project as the county’s land use committee voted to send its recommendation to the full county board without further changes.
Waynesville residents Ken and Chris Shaffer, supported by a grassroots group calling itself DeWitt County Residents Against Wind Turbines, sought to make changes to a number of sections of the county wind energy ordinance. The Shaffers and others have addressed the land use committee and the county board a number of times since mid-2017 proposing the changes.
While the proposal was about to start the process of making the rounds with the regional planning commission (RPC) and then the zoning board of appeals (ZBA), land use committee action on Tuesday could settle the matter for the time being.
The land use committee earlier had accepted minor changes to some of the county wind code but left the current ordinance largely intact before recommending approval to the county board. Major changes requested to other parts of the code proposed by the Shaffers were not recommended by land use members.
The county board, however, voted to send the proposal in its entirety to the RPC, which would decide changes, if any, it would recommend to the ZBA before final consideration by the board. Board chairman David Newberg suggested this would give the widest possible latitude for considering everything the Shaffers proposed.
But, it would likely be April before the board would again consider the measure based on that scenario. The county board could approve the land use committee’s Tuesday recommendation at its Feb.22 meeting,
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