Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
Members of the DeWitt County Board will be in the hot seat next month after the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted Tuesday to recommend the county deny a special use permit for the Alta Farms wind energy project. The ZBA voted 5-1 to send the matter to the full board for final consideration with a recommendation to not grant the permit.
Some Douglas County residents will travel to Springfield on Thursday in hopes of testifying about proposed legislation clarifying zoning rules concerning wind farms. Specifically, the bill aims to officially establish that county wind-farm regulations would supersede township rules even in counties that have no zoning regulations.
GIBSON CITY — The more-restrictive setbacks and other new regulations for wind farms currently under consideration by the Ford County Board could make it “extremely difficult, if not impossible,” for Apex Clean Energy to build its proposed 250-megawatt Ford Ridge Wind Farm in the Gibson City and Sibley areas, a company representative said Thursday. However, J.J. Stone, a project manager for the Charlottesville, Va.-based firm, said that even if the board approves the new rules, a smaller version of the wind farm could still be built.
Opposing sides for a proposed wind farm in DeWitt County say they are prepared for up to 35 hours of scheduled meetings before the Zoning Board of Appeals, beginning Tuesday night at Clinton High School. “It’s going to be a long month,” said Andrea Rhoades, a rural DeWitt County resident who opposes the project.
With 10 of its 12 members present, the board voted 9-1 in favor of a proposal to restrict wind turbines from being built any closer than 2,250 feet from a property line. The measure, part of a larger package of ordinance revisions that will be up for approval once finalized, is designed to protect rural residents from the low-frequency noise and shadow flicker, among other nuisances, that turbines can create.
Ford County Board members spent two hours Thursday debating how to protect rural residents living around wind farms from nuisances that can be caused by wind turbines, such as low-frequency noise and shadow flicker.
The Regional Planning Commission voted 3-1 with two abstentions Tuesday night against a positive recommendation after Lenexa, Kan.-based Tradewind Energy Inc. laid out its case for the first wind farm in DeWitt County. The commission is charged with deciding if a proposed project meets the goal of the county's comprehensive plan. The Zoning Board of Appeals will also make a recommendation and forward it to the DeWitt County Board for a final vote.
The village board voted last month to send the resolution to the county board. The resolution states that the village opposes changes to the county’s wind-farm ordinance that were proposed on Nov. 1 by the county’s zoning board of appeals — in particular, those related to setbacks and turbine height limitations. The proposed changes are now being considered by the 12-member county board.
Since Dec. 1, when four newcomers joined the 12-member board, the board has already met in special session once to discuss the proposed changes to the county’s ordinance regulating wind farms. A second special meeting was scheduled for Dec. 20 but ended up being canceled due to some confusion that arose about whether the meeting was to be attended by all board members or just those who serve on the board’s zoning committee, Lindgren said.
MONMOUTH — The Warren County Board narrowly approved motions Tuesday to allow permitting of a wind energy project along the McDonough County border.
Ford County Board Chairman Bob Lindgren of rural Loda released a statement just hours before the meeting was to occur at the courthouse in Paxton, stating that the board will reschedule the meeting in January.
Two other wind-farm developers gave the board a similar admonishment ...The developers were responding to a straw poll that showed all 12 county board members supported restricting wind turbines from being any closer than 1,640 feet from the property lines of any land not being leased to a wind-farm operator.
During a hearing Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court, Judge John Kennedy denied a motion by EDP for injunctive relief against Murdock Township's efforts to enforce wind-energy zoning in the township. Kennedy said EDP did not meet the burden of showing the requirements for a preliminary injunction.
According to court documents, the township's new zoning ordinance would make the development of the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm impossible. As a result, EDP is asking the court for injunctive relief against the township's efforts.
The wind energy development company is looking at its options after the county ordinance was adopted ...Right now, she said, she doesn’t feel as if the current ordinance is something the company can develop any projects under. “We really feel like it was an attack on the wind development industry in general."
The board voted, 19-3, in favor of the ordinance, which included two amendments by County Board member Maureen Little to bring back the wind ordinance sections that originally mandated zero shadow flicker and stricter noise regulations. Two board members were absent.
Meeting to include hearing officer, board members' recommendations
On Monday night, the board scheduled a special meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, in the large courtroom at the courthouse in Paxton to review the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals’ recent recommendations for revising the ordinance and to pore over sworn testimony from the public hearings that the zoning board held this fall.
After hearing several hours of public comments over the course of three meetings in the past month, the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals voted 4-0 to advance to the county board a package of recommended changes to the county’s ordinance regulating wind farms.
The zoning board has been tasked with reviewing a proposed ordinance drafted by the Ford County Board’s zoning committee that includes a proposal to increase the existing 1,000-foot setback between wind turbines and “primary structures” — such as homes — to 2,250 feet, or four times a turbine’s tip height, whichever is greater.