Library from Illinois
Illinois may have the Windy City, but it also seems to have a windy prairie.
The Lee County Board this week passed a 6-month moratorium on all commercial wind turbine permitting and instructed its Zoning Board of Appeals to examine wind farm regulations. The vote was 20-4. The actions are in response to mounting pressure from residents in and around existing and proposed developments.
On September 21, 2010, the Lee County Board in Lee County Illinois adopted this moratorium on wind farm applications until the ordinance governing wind development could be updated.
The Taylorville city council is eyeing an ordinance to ban wind turbines inside the city limits. Alderman Shawn Burtle says some community members have approached the council, claiming the wind turbines would create noise and potential danger if ice forms on the turbines.
The debate of wind energy in Adams County is not over, as communities look at the options they have to control developments around them. There will also be siting hearings before any construction were to begin.
Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards said this week that aldermen were assured the utility would break even on wind power. He said the city should consider getting out of the agreements and pursue sue the Sierra Club for damages. "Somebody needs to be held accountable," he said. "I just don't think it's fair that the people of this community are forced to bear this kind of burden."
Use effects include the loss of peaceful use and enjoyment of homesteads for many turbine neighbours, and there is evidence that livestock has been adversely impacted by the noise from turbines, ranging from death (goats in Taiwan) to reproductive disorders (in Wisconsin) and behavioral changes and irritability of horses and cattle. Those may also represent cost effects, in some cases, or other forms of financial impact.
Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler said the village board felt it was appropriate to extend the moratorium for another six months because Lake County is currently drafting a model ordinance which establishes standards for the siting ...The county is currently reviewing proposed amendments to its unified development ordinance regarding wind energy.
"Trustees are in the process of seeing what kind of legal action can be taken to keep the turbines outside the mile-and-a-half radius," said Roger Flesner, village president. "There's some different interpretations of the state law. Some lawyers say you have to have zoning and a comprehensive plan, some of them say you don't need zoning."
The petition reads, "In order to protect health and welfare, quality of life, property values, and future economic expansion of the Village of Clayton, I am signing the petition to express my view that wind turbines should not be permitted within the 1.5 mile jurisdictional limit of the Village of Clayton."
Village trustees received a petition containing 196 signatures against the development of wind energy within village limits and the 1.5-mile radius surrounding the village's zoning jurisdiction. ...Acciona representative, Chip Readling said the zoning radius around Clayton would eliminate a lot of land from the area, forcing it to realign their turbine alignment.
Noting the clear mandate from the citizens of Golden, the Village of Golden Board of Trustees passed a motion that stated that it is in the best interest of the Village of Golden and its residents to implement the provisions of Illinois State Law 65 ILCS 5/11-13-26 and proceed immediately to prohibit the construction of the wind turbines (as specified by the Adams County Wind Ordinance) within the 1.5 mile radius surrounding the Village of Golden's municipal limits.
Deputies observed that a trailer containing a windmill tower base had disconnected from the semi tractor pulling it and rolled over, blocking both lanes of the highway. ...The highway was closed for approximately six hours.
Livingston County landowners within proximity to the Streator Deer Run Wind Farm project will not receive a property tax guarantee. The Livingston County Board approved a special use permit request for the project Wednesday by a vote of 16-4 with four board members abstaining.
Most spoke only the negative affects of allowing this development within the village jurisdiction and the additional 1.5 mile radius without attempting to address the viability of wind energy as a renewable energy source. Persons asked the board to adopt the 1.5 mile restrictions citing the destruction of the pristine beauty of the area.
Horizon's representative, Robert Yehl, claimed the company would improve local roads before, during and after construction of the wind farm. ...Baloney! Roads were in terrible shape during construction of the original wind farm. And they are in worse shape now than before.
Among the conditions is the omission of three planned turbines in the path of a private air strip east of Lexington. ...The air strip in question is located on the property of Paul Kruse, owner and operator of Aerial Crop Service of Colfax. On Tuesday, Kruse testified that the turbines would obstruct takeoffs and landings.
The ZBA listened to a third night of testimony Tuesday on Horizon Wind Energy LLC's request for a special-use permit to build the Bright Stalk Wind Farm on about 37,800 acres in Lexington, Lawndale, Chenoa and Yates townships.
"They did not consider the cumulative effect of having three wind farms literally stacked upon each other and how it will hamper the production of crops," she said. ..."Any of the land that's disturbed during construction is no longer very productive."
Horizon is asking for a special-use permit that would allow up to 223 turbines, each standing up to 499 feet. The proposed Bright Stalk Wind Farm would produce between 300 and 400 megawatts of wind energy, enough to power between 90,000 and 120,000 homes. The turbines would be placed on 225 to 240 homesteads.