Articles from Illinois
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.
The developers of three proposed wind farms in Ford County warned the county board Tuesday that they may not be able to proceed with construction under even the least restrictive of proposed regulations being considered by the board.
Opponents argue that the 600-foot-tall, 2,400-ton turbines would diminish the area’s natural beauty and harm sensitive geologic features that provide habitat to 16 endangered species, including bats and crustaceans that live in caves and underground streams. ...Opponents got a boost in October, when the Illinois Department of Natural Resources published a report, known as an Ecological Compliance Assessment Tool (EcoCAT), examining how natural areas and endangered species could be affected by the proposed wind farm. The agency made 19 recommendations. The first was for the developer to consider an alternate location.
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 new regulations are meant to protect neighbors from the noise and flickering lights others in the county have experienced with less-regulated wind farms. They include 3,000 foot setbacks from neighboring properties, no shadow flicker, and very low maximum noise levels.
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.
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.