Library from Illinois
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.
Ford County, about 90 minutes south of Chicago by car, has had a moratorium on new wind development since last fall, after opposition was raised to existing regulations calling for 1,000-foot setbacks from any primary building. The county board’s zoning committee held meetings seeking input and recommended setbacks of 2,250 feet from buildings. Now the zoning board of appeals is considering revisions to the regulations, and their recommendations will be passed on to the full county board, which can make further revisions.
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.
Two mass-mailings sent to Ford County residents in recent days oppose Ann and Cindy Ihrke's candidacy for the Ford County Board based on their feelings that tighter regulations need to be adopted for wind farms.
After hearing hours of related comment during two public hearings Sept. 24, Clark said he is recommending the turbine setback to stay at least six times the turbines’ height away from neighboring properties. He said a wind energy development company could work around those restrictions by proposing a wind farm with shorter turbines or seeking waivers from neighboring properties, according to the recommendation.
Clark said he is recommending the turbine setback to stay at least six times the turbines' height away from neighboring properties. He said a wind energy development company could work around those restrictions by proposing a wind farm with shorter turbines, or seeking waivers from neighboring properties, according to Friday county documents.
An application for wind farm construction was approved Wednesday by the McDonough County Board. Capital Power intends to break ground next year on its Cardinal Pointe project in McDonough and Warren counties.
The developers of a proposed wind farm in the Gibson City and Sibley areas in western Ford County are seeking to extend a special-use permit for the project that is due to expire next month. ...An extension of the special-use permit would give Apex Clean Energy three more years to apply for construction permits, which require payment of $5,000 per turbine, since a developer can only acquire building permits prior to a special-use permit’s expiration.
Three weeks after a heated public hearing held by the Ford County Planning Commission produced feedback from both sides of the wind-farm debate, the process repeated itself again last Wednesday night in a hearing held by the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals.
“Our first priority is to get this document amended and updated and hopefully make it a stronger document for the residents of rural Morgan County. That is our number one position right now and number one goal, and we have stated with that, that we will not accept an application until this process is done.
MACOMB — On Wednesday, Macomb’s courthouse held a public hearing for the latest stages of a wind farm in McDonough County.
Apex Clean Energy ...proposed a wind farm for a portion of Morgan County. With that proposed wind farm, there have been a number of debates taking place with Morgan County Commissioners meetings in regards to the future of wind farms in the area, specifically the future of the county’s wind ordinance.
Hartke said a 1,500-foot setback from homes — or 2,250-foot setback, for that matter — would allow for encroachment issues, as non-participating landowners would be limited on the use of their land because some of it would be in the so-called “hazard zone.” “I think my children should be able to play in our yard — if I own five acres or 20 — and hang out at the creek at the back of our property and not be in this hazard area,” Hartke said.
After more than three hours of public comment, the DeWitt County Board voted 10-1 not to approve a 1,640-foot setback distance from the property lines of a non-participating resident.
The committee passed the ordinance draft during its meeting Wednesday night at the DeKalb County Legislative Center that now will go before a public hearing officer. County officials made it clear, however, that this is by no means the end of the draft process. ...The moratorium that the county set on wind energy projects in 2017 ...has been extended to the end of the year or until the county passes a final ordinance.
The developers of a proposed DeWitt County wind farm won a major victory Wednesday night as the County Board rejected new language that could have put a proposed wind farm in jeopardy. After more than three hours of public comment, the county voted 10-1 not to approve a 1,640-foot setback distance from the property lines of a non-participating resident.
Wind turbines [can] now be placed a minimum of 1,000 feet from a home’s foundation, with other setbacks for roads, powerlines and waterways. Michael Woodyard of the Ad Hoc Citizens Committee for Property Rights spoke to the board Monday to voice concerns about safety, the environment and property rights.
The phrase “free as the wind” has long symbolized something comforting without cost. The wind has cooled humanity, and smelled good too.