Letter to the Editor,

This letter is regarding Senate Bill 52 and House Bill 118’s impact on landowner rights. First, our board acknowledges the challenges involved with differing opinions that come with wind and solar development, and we do not deny there is merit in attempting to resolve this complicated issue. However, we do not, in the strongest terms, feel that Senate Bill 52 or House Bill 118 is the solution for this issue. This legislation in-fact tramples landowner rights and opens the door for further landowner regulations for farmers.

Our first major concern with this bill is that after a group of landowners have signed their names allowing wind and solar development onto the property they have rightly purchased and own, local government would have the ability to veto the project and put it to local vote. We regard our property rights sacred, and while we understand the need for community feedback for projects of this magnitude, we find no current or future value in potentially forcing landowners to petition their neighbors for votes for the right to make decisions and develop their own property.

Our second concern with Senate Bill 52 and House Bill 118 is the potential impact these bills could have on future ag development and practices, as well as industry in Ohio. There is already evidence of a desire to apply this bill to livestock, as seen through articles in the Toledo Blade and the extremely alarming introduction of House Bill 349. The current state of public opinion has agriculture in a constant battle to maintain landowner’s rights for production, and opening the door for the public to have a vote on any new development in ag they deem inconvenient to their living is alarming to say the least.

Lastly, as agricultural producers and landowners with differing opinions and thoughts, even regarding wind and solar, we as a board are still united in the fact we find no positive impact on ag or landowner rights through this bill. It is our knowledge that at this time, no Ohio commodity groups, or Farm Bureau is in support of this bill. If this legislation is truly to potentially limit the development of wind and solar, then we feel compelled to ask why the wind and solar development companies are neutral on this bill while the organizations representing the landowners are against it. We strongly urge you to vote no on this legislation and preserve landowner rights in Ohio.

Respectfully,

Paulding County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees