During the Public Comment portion of the Marshall County Commissioners meeting on Monday, Janell Prochno Naylor alleged that County Plan Director, Ty Adley spoke to the public and said that Property Value Guarantees were not included in any zoning ordinances on solar farms in the counties surrounding Marshall.

She told the commissioners that Kosciusko County has a Property Value Guarantees in their zoning ordinance for solar farms.  Naylor also said that Fulton County passed a zoning ordinance late last year on solar farms and their ordinance includes Property Value Guarantees.    

Naylor then read the section of the ordinance that said, “Property Value Guarantees will be offered by the solar developer to all residents and landowners within two miles of a CSES, Commercial Solar Energy System.  Fair market value will be established by, at minimum, two reputable appraisers of the Kosciusko County Plan Commission’s choice to establish baseline data for property values at the solar developer’s expense.  If the property value of a home decreases and a home or landowner is unable to sell his property after the CSES is erected, the developer will pay the landowner the difference or buy the property at the baseline fair market value determined prior to construction of the solar project.”

Naylor asked the Marshall County Commissioners if now is the time to amend the county’s current zoning ordinance on solar farms.  She then asked the commissioners to send the proposed solar farm amendments back to the Plan Commission and have them review the Property Value Guarantees in the Kosciusko and Fulton County zoning ordinances and consider adding them to the Marshall County amendments.

She also handed out pages 14 and 15 of K-county’s 23-page solar ordinance. 

Commissioner Stan Klotz said, “My understanding, the reason they are the same is because Fulton just adopted Kosciusko county’s ordinance.”  

Also commenting on solar was Debbie VanDeMark.  She shared information, statements from Michigan realtors about Property Value Guarantees. VanDeMark said the public has been bringing up their concerns of adding Property Value Guarantees to Marshall County’s zoning ordinance of solar farms.

VanDeMark said some properties will be surrounded by the solar farms and need to have the assurance that they will be able to sell their properties once solar moves into the county. She said that is one of the main reasons why they have been asking for a moratorium.

The commissioners did not comment on the comments of Naylor or VanDeMark.

Deb VanDeMark will be the guest on Wednesday’s “What’s Your Opinion Show” on WTCA.  The program begins right after the 9 a.m. news and VanDeMark will be on at about 9:30. The phone lines will be open, and you can call in your comments and questions during her interview.