Zoning/Planning and Illinois
The special use permit for the El Paso wind farm expired Tuesday without the owners applying for building permits.
Navitas Energy of Minneapolis had paid $40,000 for an application fee and had received approval a year ago for a special use permit after a lengthy and controversial hearing process.
A policy that would place a temporary ban on new wind-energy projects in the county has been taken off the table indefinitely.
Under the advice of the state's attorney, the DeKalb County Board agreed to stay mum on the proposed period of assessment on new and existing wind farms, Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman Ken Andersen said.
"We're not prepared to comment on it," Andersen said after the meeting.
The expiration of a special use permit for the El Paso wind farm has left holders of tower leases in limbo and expressing mixed reaction to the project's uncertainty.
Larry Roth of Eureka, who has a tower on his property near El Paso, blamed the Woodford County Board for not granting an extension requested by Pattern Energy, which now owns the project initiated by Navitas Energy.
The request by a group of residents upset over a wind turbine they say impacts the quality of their lives was granted at the Libertyville Village Board's last meeting when a moratorium relating to the construction, installation and operation of wind turbines was approved.
The 180-day moratorium was approved in conjunction with a referral from the board to the Plan Commission to review possible amendments to the zoning code pertaining to wind turbines.
A unanimous vote Tuesday by the county's Zoning Board of Appeals brings a wind farm one step closer to reality in southwestern Winnebago County.
The final vote came after more than nine hours of testimony at a public hearing spread over two nights in the Lincoln Lyceum of Veterans Memorial Hall.
The vote was on a 16-page ordinance drafted by Navitas Energy.
Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville addressed the Village Board at its last meeting over their concerns about a wind turbine operating near their residences.
Dave Gates, a member of Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville, said the group is upset over a 120-foot wind turbine located at Aldridge Electric, 844 E. Rockland Road, within 250-feet of their homes.
The Town Council voted in favor of a three-month ban on wind energy development Monday after a public hearing on the measure. The move came on the heels of a six-month moratorium on wind energy facilities that ran out this month.
The first ban was meant to prevent development while the Planning Board reviewed the portion of the town's zoning law that regulates wind energy generation facilities at the Town Council's request.
A request for an injunction to stop construction of a wind farm has yet to be heard in DeKalb County court as lawyers seek a way for an out-of-county judge to hear their case. Attorneys for Citizens for Open Government asked Presiding Judge Kurt Klein to assign a circuit judge from outside the county to the case. The 16th Judicial Circuit includes DeKalb, Kane and Kendall counties.
Residents living near a recently installed wind turbine in Libertyville will continue to fight what they say is a harmful presence in their neighborhood.
Members of Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville, a grass roots group centered east of where the turbine is located, are scheduled to address the village board today regarding the 120-foot structure at Aldridge Electric Inc., 844 Rockland Road.
"Our goal is to get them to rescind those special ordinances designed for Aldridge and start over again," said Dave Gates.
In the name of transparency, the Woodford County Board on Tuesday tabled the vote that would have given Navitas Energy Inc. the special-use permits to build a 52-turbine Roanoke wind farm as well as a 100-turbine one in Minonk.
The reason for that, said Larry Whitaker, who made the motion to table it for 30 days, was so that, "We can take this wind farm issue and take it out of these smoky township meetings and out into the open.
The Sugar Grove Village Board has slapped a moratorium on the installation of all wind energy devices within the village.
The temporary ban began this month and is scheduled to expire in six months.
Sugar Grove Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said the moratorium should not be taken to mean that the village is opposed to the notion of wind energy generation.
Supporters of a requirement that turbines be at least a mile from "non-participants" in wind-farm developments estimate they have collected 450 signatures in support of the change in Sangamon County zoning rules.
The developers of the first such farm in the county say the requirement would spell the end of the project.
Cathy Bomke of Sangamon County Citizens for Wind Rights said Friday the group hopes to get a hearing as early as next month.
The Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals has approved a special-use permit to allow Navitas Energy Inc. to move forward with a 52-turbine wind farm near Minonk and Benson.
Village Board members unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday night that puts a moratorium on construction of windmills, turbines and other energy-generating devices for a period of six months.
The intent is not to prohibit construction of windmills and turbines permanently, but to give the village time to research their appropriateness in the village, board members and village staff said.
Organizers of a project to build a $400 million wind farm stretching across Stephenson, Ogle, and Winnebago counties say they hope to start construction in mid-2010 and complete the facility in late 2011.
This schedule is preliminary, however, and depends on a number of variables, said Andy Evans, project developer for Navitas Energy.
The city is moving forward with creating an ordinance specific to wind energy.
The DeKalb Citizen's Environmental Commission met Wednesday evening to discuss the possibility of such an ordinance, which would regulate size, design, noise levels and other components of wind turbines that residents and businesses would want to install within city limits.
Sugar Creek Wind One representative Stan Komperda said the company must wait for more windy days before being able to compile all of the data necessary to apply for building permits in the New Holland/Middletown area to construct its wind farm project. This time of year is the least likely time to get accurate wind data in central Illinois. ..."I don't see us applying for permits until some time this fall."
A group of about three dozen residents likely will file a lawsuit in appeal of the county board's decision to grant a permit to an energy company to build a wind farm in the county, an attorney representing the group said Thursday.
"I view it as highly likely we will be appealing," Rick Porter, an attorney for the anti-wind farm group Citizens for Open Government, said early Thursday afternoon.
The town will begin its review today of a plan submitted by the state's largest wind power developer to build a 34-turbine, 51-megawatt wind-to-energy facility along Oakfield Hills.
The Wind Energy Review Facility Committee will start reviewing First Wind of Massachusetts' application to build the $120 million facility at 6:30 p.m. at the Oakfield Community Center, Town Manager Dale Morris said. He strongly urged residents to attend.