- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

CANTON, S.D. (AP) - Lincoln County planners have voted to effectively ban wind farm development by requiring that turbines be at least a mile away from homes and setting noise rules that project supporters call unattainable.

The zoning recommendations approved this week marked a major victory for opponents of Dakota Power Community Wind’s effort to create the largest industrial wind project in South Dakota, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/2eQJI8r ) reported.

Cindy Thomas, a retired nurse and member of We-Care SD, a group that has organized against the wind project since early 2015, said the planning commission made the right decisions on sound restrictions and distance from homes.

“Both of those things are very important for health,” Thomas said. “I’m just ecstatic they have erred on the side of caution.”

Wind development investors urged commissioners to rely on research that cites no negative impact on property values or health.

“At a mile, you won’t have any wind farms in Lincoln County,” said Brian Minish, a Lincoln County resident and backer of the wind farm project.

Rob Johnson of Dakota Power Community Wind said the vote was a rejection of sound science in favor of a vocal opposition. If local officials let the vote stand, it also could harm the tax base, he said.

“They won, and the taxpayers in Lincoln County will be the ones who suffer,” Johnson said.

The full County Commission must still weigh in next month.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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