Henry County Planning Commission hearing 7/23/19. Photo by Laura Ann Arnold
Wind farm project officially declared 'denied'
By TRAVIS WEIK - firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been just about two months since the Henry County Planning Commission did not approve a wind farm request.
Thursday, the planning commission members made it official: they have denied a request from Big Blue River Wind Farm.
The wind farm company originally asked for a commission approved use (CAU) to move forward with a project of 38 turbines in northwestern Henry County.
The planning commission hosted a public hearing July 23 at Bundy Auditorium and listened to comments for and against the project.
At the end of that July meeting the planning commission voted 4-4 on the CAU request. Because the vote didn’t receive a majority either way, Zoning Administrator Darrin Jacobs declared the request “not approved.”
Since that meeting, county attorneys have been reviewing the planning commission’s action, trying to determine if the CAU had actually been denied.
The planning commission formally passed a Findings of Fact and Decision on the matter Thursday.
With a vote of 6-0, the Henry County Planning Commission voted “an application that fails to receive a majority approval is deemed denied.”
Because the CAU was denied, Big Blue River Wind Farm has to wait at least one full year before reapplying for the same request.
The only exception would be if new evidence or “a mistake of law or fact significantly affecting the prior denial” was brought to the planning commission.
Planning commission member Olene Veach abstained from the vote and member Rachel Clark was not present.
The planning commission also passed a Findings of Fact and Decision with a vote 7-0 to affirm their previous July 30 approval of a CAU request from Boar’s Head Provisions.
The Boar’s Head request was to operate an additional food processing facility on County Road 400S, across the street from its two current properties.
In other business, the planning commission determined that resolution from the Middletown Redevelopment Commission conformed to Middletown’s development plan.
The Henry County Planning Commission meets again at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Henry County Courthouse, 101 S. Main St., New Castle.