Noble county debating solar farm ordinance

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
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Albion, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Should counties restrict how much land can be used for solar farms?

That’s the debate in Noble county right now, with passionate voices on both sides.

Right now, if you’d like to install solar panels for your home or business, you’re in the clear. But farmers or landowners hoping to lease out their land for commercial use are the ones really involved in this debate.

No applications are currently being accepted for commercial solar use in Noble county, and there is not an acreage restriction for solar farms.

But the county plan commission may be changing that. Monday night, the county commissioners debated a proposal to cap solar farm acreage in the county to 4,700 acres.

There’s heated debate on both sides of the issue. Those who live around the proposed solar farms are concerned about their views and the noises a solar farm could bring. They’re also worried about a potential drop in property values. Others who support the solar farms say they should be able to use their land as they please, and the county shouldn’t be regulating that.

According to current plans, the moratorium on commercial solar farm use may be lifted by the end of the year. Each commercial solar farm development will then have to submit an application, which will undergo review by the commission and county zoning. This process involves public review, meaning neighbors will have the opportunity to make their voices heard.

As for the current proposal to lift the moratorium and implement a restriction on solar farm acreage in the county, several more meetings are planned. An open discussion will take place on August 24th at 7PM at the Noble county Planning Commission in Albion.

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