Library filed under Impact on People from Illinois
It is inconceivable to me that (the Horizon Wind Farm) project has been promoted as a way to save farmland. ...I have heard ag pilots in Tazewell, McLean, and Livingston counties testify that they will not risk their lives to spray in a wind farm. Developers tell you that only 2 percent of the land will be taken out of production. They dismiss the need for aerial application as a vital part of farming. Developers say the farmer has the right to decide. That is true. But I believe developers have a moral obligation, if not a legal one, to tell the truth about the limitations wind turbines place on farming. And what about the farmer on the adjacent ground who is not receiving a lease payment and may lose his right to protect his crop because of his neighbor's turbine?
Bill Durdan has farmed northeast of Grand Ridge for 43 years and often relied on crop dusters. Now, however, he has been told his proximity to wind turbine towers will prevent him from receiving that service. The cost to him could be lost crops and lost revenue, he told the La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday evening. ...Kim Schertz of Hudson, who works in her husband's crop dusting business, said the problem is pilots simply can not safely pull up and make the necessary turns in a wind farm area. "These guys are good, but they're not kamikazes."
In August, Union Ridge Wind, opponents of the Railsplitter Wind Farm, did file a court appeal on the conditional use of agriculture-zoned land for the construction of a wind farm. The Logan County Board granted the conditional use to Railsplitter Wind Farm and Horizon Wind Energy in July. The appeal would need to be dropped before the county would sign one of the agreements necessary for meeting the conditions set forth by the Logan County Zoning Board of Appeals and accepted by the county board in July.
A grassroots group has sued to stop development of the Streator Cayuga Ridge South Wind Farm in Livingston County. "We are concerned not only for our interests, but we are concerned with the interest of safety and health of the county's population," said one of the plaintiffs, Cheryl Tate of Blackstone. People Protecting Cayuga Ridge and 12 individuals are listed on the lawsuit aimed at preventing construction of a $1.5 billion, 155-turbine project spread across 15,000 acres between the communities of Odell and Emington.
Cheryl Wagner, a URW member and a vocal opponent throughout the process, says she can only speak in general terms. Wagner said a proposal was given to Horizon, which the energy company is currently reviewing. The proposal was drawn up by Porter and agreed upon by URW. Neither Wagner nor Porter would disclose what was in the proposal, but an appeal may hinge upon whether or not it is accepted. "Horizon said they really want to do this (project)," said Wagner. "But, they're not willing to give a property value guarantee."
The Boone County Board is considering a zoning ordinance that would permit wind turbines as close as 1,000 feet of adjacent property. That is a far cry from the current setback of 2,000 feet, which after numerous meetings of the Zoning Board of Appeals, three Boone County Board meetings and two years of litigation in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, was deemed reasonable given the limitations to aviation, crop dusting and quality of life of adjacent property owners. ...An enterprise can be a good neighbor when it listens to its neighbors and makes adjustments accordingly. That is what a zoning ordinance should encourage, and no doubt does encourage for other industry. But why are wind projects any different?
Horizon Wind Twin Grove wind energy facility, McLean County IL
Horizon Wind Twin Grove wind energy facility, McLean County IL
Logan County regional planner Phil Mahler said he expects to hear a lot of opposition to a proposed wind farm at today's Regional Planning Commission meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. in the Logan County Courthouse. Barb Aper of Union Ridge Wind hopes to exceed Mahler's expectations. ... One of Aper's main concerns is that no one has addressed how she is supposed to navigate outside of her residence with the main roads to the east and west set to be blocked by construction. "A county board member told me that I should stay at my mother's house while they were doing construction," Aper said. "I have a heart condition and am worried about having access to those roads." This is only one of the concerns dismissed by county board members, according to Aper.
Testimony of Mr. Michael McCann, a certified general real estate appraiser with 28-years experience appraising residential and commercial property. Mr. McCann addresses the possible impacts of wind turbine development on residential properties located within 1500-feet of the turbines. His full testimony can be read by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
Richard James is a noise control consultant and acoustical consultant with E-Coustic Solutions in Michigan. In his testimony before the Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals in IL, Mr. James addresses the noise study conducted by Horizon Wind for the Rail Splitter wind energy proposal. His testimony can be accessed in full by clicking on the link below and reading from page 22 of the .pdf file. Mr. James' testimony is informative and compelling.
In Odell Township, less than half of the turbine sites are owned by folks from the township. Those that live in Wisconsin, California and Chicago are happy to ruin a place they don't have to look at or live in. How convenient it is that there is no mention of these spinning, blinking, eyesores as being 500 feet tall. Which of our county officials have seen a 500-foot tower in person? ...Why do they need to be so big? In poor wind areas you need bigger turbines to produce power, and the state of Illinois has identified this area as economically marginal.
A dozen people voiced objections to a proposed wind farm Wednesday, including a Delavan man who says his house will be surrounded by 15 wind towers if the project is approved. "I can look out of every window in my home and see a wind tower," said Rod Egli of the Rail Splitter Wind Farm proposed by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC. "This will definitely light my backyard up with flashing red lights," he said, adding that three of the towers would be placed about 2,500 feet away from his house. Egli was one of 12 people, mostly from Delavan, who spoke out against the wind farm during a Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals meeting Wednesday night.
The people affected by a future wind farm in Tazewell and Logan counties had a chance Tuesday night to meet employees of Horizon Wind Energy and ask tough questions about the giant turbines going up in their backyards. The small, serious crowd of visitors to the Emden Community Center's basement brought to the meeting a mix of optimism and skepticism. Horizon Wind Energy, which already has a wind farm in McLean County, is planning to build another wind farm that will stretch from Emden in Logan County to Delavan in Tazewell County. "I don't like it. It ain't gonna be win-win for me," said Gene Aper. Aper's home is going to be surrounded by wind turbines. Aper said he has talked to real estate agents who told him that his property value will go down 10 to 20 percent because of the nine wind turbines that will be visible from his front door.
The Jo Daviess County Board permitted a wind farm developer to place turbines such that safety setbacks overlapped an adjacent homeowner's residence. The safety setbacks were established to provide protection in the event of blade and ice throws, tower collapse, noise etc. The homeowner who made the video states, "I can no longer safely occupy my own property within the setbacks!" The only recourse for homeowners is to seek legal action.
Yes, I have strong opinions about the wind farm issue, not that I believe wind energy is good or bad, rather that the whole episode has been handled so wrongly. Thirteen months ago I had no opinion at all, then I attended a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing and could not believe the audacity of the supporters and participants toward those who objected. ...Then eleven months ago I was part of a group of residents from both Lancaster and Waddams townships that drafted a compromising plan for proper and safe zoning setbacks of wind turbines with property protection for neighboring residents. When that proposal was presented to the county's Plan Commission it was rejected with one board member making the comment "we don't owe these people anything,"
"It just seems like this is a perfect place for a wind farm, in big, open spaces," Town of Chilton resident Sandy Popp said. "In this project, there aren't many nonparticipating land owners, and I think that makes a huge difference. In our county, there will be hundreds of people who will not be participating who will be relatively close."
There is no mistaking where Bill Welty stands - the signs at the end of his driveway say it all - "No Wind Farms." The placards at the edge of Welty's Chana Road property, just south of state Route 64 in rural Ogle County, also feature a turbine circled in red, a line slashing through the middle. When he and his wife, Judy, moved from suburban Chicago three years ago to retire on Judy's parents' family farm, they came to enjoy their 230 acres of unspoiled prairie landscape. Now, with two separate wind-energy companies eyeing the county's rolling ridge lines, they face the prospect of 50 to 100 wind towers sprouting up all around them - ugly, noisy, bad-for-your health wind towers, Welty says.
Drive east of Bloomington at night and park for 20 minutes. Like the endless flashing lights? Each turbine is 450 feet tall and 50 of them flash 45,000 times every hour. Oh, I forgot, if you live in town, you don't have to look at them. For tens of thousands of us in rural areas, it is all night - everynight - for the rest of our lives.