Proposed wind code changes go to board in August

Board members thanked for their work considering the text amendments

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CLINTON — As the DeWitt County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) has considered extended testimony in July about proposed changes to the wind energy ordinance and will consider additional changes, the county board prepares to hear ZBA recommendations in August.

Waynesville area resident Chris Shaffer, who, with her husband, introduced the original changes to the ordinance, thanked the ZBA and county board for their consideration of the proposals.  Shaffer addressed the board on July 19.

“They truly deserve kudos for a job well done,” Shaffer said referring to the ZBA and Regional Planning Commission (RPC).  

Shaffer said members of the ZBA “asked very thoughtful questions” about the proposed text amendments to the ordinance, “focusing on the safety and welfare of our citizens.”

ZBA voted to recommend three of the six proposed changes, including those affecting the aircraft warning light system, wind tower shadow flicker and property line setback distances.  Shaffer said residents had commented to her that they were happy the county took their concerns seriously.

“We look forward to sharing our evidence and concerns that were presented at ZBA with you on August 23,” Shaffer told board members.  

She emphasized that the proposed text amendments were intended to benefit all DeWitt County residents.

“We ask that you listen to the evidence and hear the recommendations of the RPC and ZBA.”

Over the past several months Shaffer and others have addressed the county board, its land use committee, the ZBA and RPC in an effort to pass the proposed changes to the county wind energy ordinance.  Tradewind Energy plans a wind farm in the Waynesville area with the intention to begin construction in 2019.

Other residents have focused on the change the wind farm would have on the visual landscape in the area.