Solar farm

Workers place panels at a solar park at the old Continental Steel site, at the corner of Park and Markland avenues, in Kokomo on Nov. 10, 2016.

GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Commissioners all said no to plans for developing a large, new solar energy project near Millersburg.

The commissioners voted unanimously Monday to deny the request by Savion to rezone agricultural land with a development plan for the project.

The Kansas City-based company had planned to invest $120 million in a project to install solar panel arrays on about 850 acres of agricultural land in the area of Ind. 13, C.R. 146, C.R. 148 and C.R. 43. Savion intended to lease the sites from two sets of property owners for 30 years.

Neighbors had opposed the plans, citing concern property values could potentially decline around the arrays; that the arrays could be potential eyesores and out-of-character for the rural area; and the arrays could have potentially harmful environmental effects.

The vote to deny the request came despite the Elkhart County Council voted Saturday to approve an economic development agreement for the project that covered repayments of tax phase-in benefits and finalized plan for closing out the project at the end of its 30 years.

The vote also overruled the county’s Economic Development Corporation and the Plan Commission’s support of the proposed project.

Aimee Ambrose can be reached at aimee.ambrose@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 240316. Follow her on Twitter at @aambrose_TGN.

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