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Concern Regarding the Solar Approval Process for Grandview

Concern Regarding the Solar Approval Process for Grandview
The following post was submitted by a Spencer County Resident by the of Mac.

For security reasons we are not publishing his last name.

For anyone concerned about the future Solar implications of our community. Please read below. There is a discrepancy in permit approvals that could potentially prove unlawful. This has been sent to several local officials.

“This is a matter of significant concern regarding the approval process for the commercial solar facility near the town of Grandview.

It has come to my attention that there may have been a violation of the provisions set forth in Ind. Code 36-7-4-205 regarding the establishment and extent of territorial authority of comprehensive plans for municipal development.

The essence of the violation is this, the Town of Grandview erroneously approved 14 parcels in county jurisdiction, or the county has failed to adhere to their own zoning regulations thus removing the rights of adjoining landowners to participate in the process.
In 2019, the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for the town of Grandview apparently approved 15 parcels for the aforementioned commercial solar facility.

However, upon careful examination, it has become evident that only one parcel of the 15 lies within the jurisdiction of the town of Grandview, while the remaining 14 parcels are situated within the "fringe," but ultimately falling under Spencer County's jurisdiction.

It is worth noting that the town of Grandview did not have or sought to have the necessary territorial jurisdiction to exercise planning and zoning regulations in the county's jurisdiction at the time of the approval. In fact, when they finally expressed interest in gaining jurisdiction in summer of 2022 at a Plan Meeting, Tom Brown spoke against granting the town authorization because of future development on AEP ground.
Furthermore, it is in my sole opinion the solar company involved in the project may have provided misleading information to the town of Grandview, perhaps falsely leading them to believe that they had the authority to approve parcels within the "fringe."

This misrepresentation could arguably be verified by the components of the application in which the company provided all project information not just the pertinent information the Town of Grandview BZA was set to approve.

The company itself has a responsibility to perform their own due diligence. Just because the solar company made statements to the press regarding the town’s approval capabilities, it does not grant the town legal jurisdiction without the proper authorization from Spencer County.
It is evident that the town of Grandview failed to include any provisions or express their desire to control zoning in the "fringe" area within their comprehensive plan. Consequently, the approval of the 14 parcels in the "fringe" appears to have been made without proper territorial jurisdiction and authorization.
In 2020, the Spencer County BZA approved an additional 19 parcels for the same solar company, none of which were the 14 parcels that were seemingly, invalidly approved by the town of Grandview. Some of the 14 parcels that would require a contingent use permit from Spencer County are currently zoned residential.

This further highlights the need to rectify the situation and ensure that proper due diligence is undertaken.
I respectfully request that you take immediate action to halt any further progress on the approval of the Grandview solar project until this matter can be legally resolved. I believe it is imperative to address the potential violation of IC 36-7-4-205 and ensure that the appropriate procedures are followed.

Doing so, is essential to safeguard the rights and interests of the adjoining landowners of the 14 parcels who may have been negatively affected by decisions made without proper jurisdiction or authorization.

A Town BZA without authority of those 14 parcels and adjoining landowners can not make decisions on those citizens in which they do not represent.
I kindly urge you to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter and demand that the solar company in question submit a new contingent use permit for the 14 parcels over which Spencer County holds jurisdiction.

By addressing this issue, you will demonstrate your commitment to upholding the principles of fairness, transparency, and adherence to the law.
I am deeply concerned that without proper resolution, this situation may lead to future litigation.

It is in the best interest of all parties involved to ensure that all actions are taken within the bounds of the law. I would appreciate regular updates on the progress made in addressing this matter and a prompt response to this email.
Thank you for your attention to this serious issue. I trust that you will give it the consideration it deserves and take appropriate action.”


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