Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
When the board meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, it will consider approving a policy mandating specific setbacks, turbine heights, decommissioning requirements and wildlife impact studies for future wind projects.
In a letter sent to residents who agreed to lease farmland for wind turbines, Chicago-based Mainstream Renewable Power says a more-restrictive county ordinance approved last year makes it too difficult to move forward with the six-year project.
The policy is intended to replace a vague ordinance, and “many of the things in our proposed text were imposed by the Zoning Board in previous special use permits," said Anna Ziegler, assistant manager at the McLean County Farm Bureau — which helped draft the rules.
Currently, its setback distance for wind turbines is at least 1,200 feet from homes. La Salle County's is the same. In Livingston County, officials are considering raising the setback to 1,600 feet. Some in the county's southern part are looking to increase it to 4,000. At nearly a mile, such a distance might effectively shut out wind farm development.
In an attempt to push the company into action, the committee hired an independent firm, Patrick Engineering, in November 2015 to do a cost study and write a decommissioning plan. The action is allowed under the special use permit with Minonk LLC paying the cost of the study. A copy of the report, which indicated the security deposit should be $15,135,851, was sent to Minonk Wind Farm LLC, which did not respond.
County Board OKs project with 12 stipulations/conditions
Despite a recommendation of denial of all 127 conditional use permits by the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) last month, the county board approved all but nine permits on Tuesday.
The county board will now have the final say in whether or not to grant the 127 conditional use permits for the wind farm project. ...the board has been known to vote against recommendations given by the planning commission and the zoning board of appeals.
When wind energy development first darkened the door of Bureau County several years ago, there really wasn’t that much information available as to the adverse side effects these projects brought with them. That is no longer the case. The horror stories that used to be happening somewhere else are now being experienced on a daily basis by our very own citizens and residents of Bureau County. The elected officials that brought us the first wind development claimed, and rightfully so, “We didn’t know.” The time has now come for this county board to stand up.
The ZBA explicitly found the standards for granting the permits had not been met and to the contrary, the turbines “would be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, moral, comfort, or general welfare.” Further, the turbines “would be injurious to the use and enjoyment of those who own property in the footprint of the project and would have a negative impact on their property values” and “will impede the normal and orderly development of the surrounding property.”
After nearly a year of public hearings, the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals last week made a recommendation to the Bureau County Board to deny conditional use permits for the proposed Walnut Ridge Wind Farm. ...the zoning board of appeals also recommended denial of an extension request of the 2008 conditional uses permits that were previously extended in 2011 and requested again in 2014.
The Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals is recommending the Bureau County board turn down all conditional-use permits for the proposed Walnut Ridge LLC wind farm. The recommendation came after a public hearing Wednesday night.
After nine months of testimony and cross examination, and supportive votes cast by the ZBA, the full county board met and PASSED the following with a 9 to 3 margin: All wind turbines must be placed at a minimum of 2640 feet from a PROPERTY LINE.
Following 9 months of testimony and cross examination as well as supportive votes cast by the Boone County zoning board of adjustment, the full county board met and passed this wind energy ordinance with a 9 to 3 margin. The ordinance provides for several protective provisions including establishing setback distances of 2,640 feet or 5.5 times the height of the wind turbine including the blades at the highest point, whichever is greater. A protion of the ordinance is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Boone County Planning, Zoning and Building Committee on Wednesday voted 4-1 to recommend an amendment to an ordinance governing where wind turbines can be placed in relation to property lines. ...The revised ordinance states that wind energy conversion systems must be at least 2,640 feet, or 5.5 times the height of the turbine tower, away from a property line. The current ordinance states that wind turbines must be 1,000 feet from a residence.
It will now be up to the full Macon County Board to determine whether to allow the construction of more than 100 wind turbines. ...“I don't think we're asking you to vote 'no' and stop this thing and throw it out the window,” he said. “But for those of us who live here, it feel it's getting pushed through here all of a sudden.”
Residents asking questions were told loudly, many times by E. ON's lawyer; "There is no risk." Property values will not be affected, noise is not a problem, flickering and other health issues just don't exist. I find that very interesting when there are a number of current lawsuits pending in multiple states and documented studies by experts that say otherwise. ...I think we deserve answers before our county approves their application.
A single action item on the Livingston County Board’s agenda Thursday night drew an hour-long debate over the legal and economic ramifications of its passage. The Board ultimately decided to table the item, which concerned Indian Grove Township requesting an ordinance change for its own specific township.
“This just sets minimum standards for setup and decommissioning, and puts financial protections in place for landowners,” said Bill Bodine, associate director of state legislation for Illinois Farm Bureau. The agreements will address such property restoration issues as compaction of soil, and drain tile systems.
The Livingston County Board voted 13-9 to deny Invenergy’s wind farm application Thursday night. Approximately half of the auditorium burst into cheers upon hearing the results of the vote.