Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
Mainstream is proposing nine turbines in far southeastern Whiteside County; all parties agree the county has jurisdiction over seven of them. But the village of Deer Grove asserts that it has power over two, both of which are within 1-1/2 miles of its limits.
Gusse proposed the board cap the number of turbines in the county - something that wouldn't affect current permits. "I think, at some point, we have to say that we have enough," Gusse said. "Maybe we have reached close to saturation." The southeastern part of the county is "pretty well blanketed".
The Village Board unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday that prohibits electric-generating wind devices from being located within the village, said village Trustee Anthony Stepansky. However, residents living within a 1.5-mile radius of the community can. The device cannot be taller than 75 feet and must generate power that is exclusive to the property.
This week, members of a Lee County Board ad hoc committee recommended that turbines be 2,000 feet from nonparticipating landowners' property lines. Such a move would effectively shut out wind energy development in Lee County, one company says.
The proposed ordinance on wind energy keeps the same required distance between homes and wind turbines – 1,400 feet. Unlike the current ordinance, the new one includes regulations for shadow flicker and a program to protect the values of nearby homes.
The Lee County Zoning Board ...blatantly ignored its statutory responsibilities by recommending that the current 12-year-old, 1,400-foot setback distance between homes and wind turbines remain unchanged. ...this recommendation was made with absolutely no consideration or compassion for the harmful health effects that today's huge wind turbines would wreak upon Township families.
The Woodford County Board meeting room was expected to be packed Tuesday night because of an anticipated vote regarding wind farm ordinance revisions. ...A vote on the wind farm ordinance revisions is the final step in a lengthy process that has at times been contentious, both within the board and outside of it.
Miller stated that after commissioners have reviewed the group's concerns, a recommendation will be made to the planning commission as to any changes commissioners feel should be addressed.
Major ordinance changes involve the positioning of wind turbines and the shadow their blades cast. Towers would need to be located at least four times their height from residences that aren't part of the wind farm. A typical tower can be taller than 400 feet. Currently, the regulated distance is at least 750 feet.
The county's current setback distance is 1,400 feet, which is a little more than a quarter mile, the same as Whiteside County's. Some people have said that's too close. At a recent meeting, Zoning Board member Tom Fassler suggested a mile.
A group of wind-energy opponents is urging village officials to create their own zoning regulations, a measure that would allow the town to keep wind farms from being built on farmland immediately outside its boundaries.
A proposal to protect the property values of homes near wind turbines is gaining support. Two of the five members of the Lee County Zoning Board of Appeals, which is reviewing the county's wind energy ordinance, said at their meeting Thursday that they backed a home seller protection program for residents near turbines.
Committee member Ron VonHolten suggested several changes, including eliminating a section that would have allowed shadow flicker problems to be addressed with plantings or awnings. He also said complaints should include shutting down the turbine from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. until the problem is fixed. "If it's noise issues, you can't say, ‘Well, in 60 days, I get to sleep,'" he said.
They want to see a greater setback, provide a mile and a half setback for all incorporated towns in Adams County, allow for binding arbitration between individuals and the wind energy companies and require companies to offer property value guarantees to land owners.
"We're discovering that they create noise, they make it hard for people to live next to them," Gebhardt said. "So why not be responsible and set that distance further away now than have some Adams County residents have to suffer with problems we already know that other people have got."
Another change came in the area of shadow flicker. Under the ordinance, the primary residence of any non-participating landowner shall not be subject to any shadow flicker at all. Shadow flicker on other parts of the landowner's property will be allowed, but the allowable amount was decreased from 20 to five hours per year.
Board member Steve Schultz proposed requiring wind farm operators to first obtain County Board approval for turbines. Currently, applicants need only obtain approval from county staff in addition to clearing any necessary environmental hurdles. Shultz's proposal failed.
At stake is how the local government deals with issues ranging in impact from a person wanting to move his or her garage a few inches too close to the property line, to whether the county allows a company to erect 100 wind turbines in the area.
The Franklin Grove Wind Energy Investigative Committee voted 3 - 0 with a quorum present to recommend to the village board that the board adopt a ban of industrial wind energy conversion systems in Franklin Grove and the surrounding 1.5 mile radius.
After consulting with Village President Robert Brasen and reviewing current maps, LeSage recommended limiting wind turbines in the 1 to 1.5 mile range to the industrial use areas on the northwest and southeast areas of the village. Brasen said those areas would go along with the village's future plans, which would likely continue industrial growth in those areas.