Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
MONTICELLO, Ill. — A county board in central Illinois will decide next month whether to approve taller wind turbines despite some residents’ concerns that the loftier structures would become eyesores.
Board member Jim Harrington said it would likely depend on where the turbines were, noting the taller ones could be “more obtrusive,” depending on the layout. “It depends on where they end up,” he said. “If it is a taller structure, it would be more obtrusive to non- and participating structures to that spot, wherever it is.” Oliger said Federal Aviation Administration permits submitted by Apex propose locations of 75 of the towers and assume heights of up to 743 feet.
After hearing testimony both in favor of keeping current noise restrictions in place and pleas to make them more strict, the Piatt County zoning board of appeals has recommended staying with existing code when it comes to allowable noise at large scale wind energy developments.
The Christian County Board voted “Yes” on Tuesday to keep the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals recommendations for setbacks and shadow flicker for wind turbines 10-6 effectively ending any chance of wind turbines being built in Christian County.
Controversy over the plan last summer prompted the county’s Board of Commissioners to put an 18-month moratorium on special-use-permit applications for wind farms to allow time for review of its 2012 Wind Energy Conversion Ordinance in light of changes in technology and health and safety standards.
The Piatt County board has extended its moratorium on wind farm applications for another six months, keeping it in effect until about mid-March. A six-month moratorium was scheduled to expire in September, but the county has yet to finalize changes to its wind energy conversion ordinance.
The restrictiveness of proposed new regulations for wind farms in Ford County has led to at least one wind-farm developer pulling its project from the county and looking to build elsewhere, according to Randy Ferguson, chairman of the county board’s zoning committee.
Invenergy, a developer of sustainable energy, spoke the Logan County Board this month about plans to develop a wind project in the county.
CLINTON — The DeWitt County Board is considering a special use permit to allow the county’s first wind farm to build in three northwestern townships near Waynesville and Wapella.
The Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals will have a hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss issues surrounding potential wind farms being proposed by two companies.
Orion Renewable Energy Group plans to start construction on the $150 million to $170 million wind farm, the first in Knox County, this year and hopes to have it operational by the end of 2021.
Fifty concerned landowners showed up at the Albany Fire Station in Whiteside County on Feb. 10, sharing fears of loss of land values and quality of life when a wind farm is built in agricultural neighborhoods. Eric Smith has leased 225 acres between Kennedy, Stone, Archer, and Benson roads to Gipper Wind Farm, a division of Scout Clean Power LLC of Colorado. A tower has been constructed to determine if there is enough velocity to power 75-125 generators (turbines).
On Thursday night, the ZBA rejected the special-use permit by a 5-1 vote after 17 nights of testimony from Tradewind Energy and opponents of the proposed Alta Winds Farm project for the 12,000-acre project in Barnett, Wapella and Clintonia townships. The permit will be forwarded to the county board but a date on when the board will consider the permit has not yet been announced.
The board will not accept applications for special use permits for about 18 months while commissioners revise the ordinance, board Chairman Robert Elmore said.
A proposed wind farm on the Mississippi River bluffs near Valmeyer has been the subject of much debate since last summer. The most recent development occurred Aug. 19, when the Monroe County Board approved a moratorium on wind farms.
Last December, seven of the 12 board members indicated they would support a turbine setback of 2,250 feet from property lines to protect nonparticipating residents from the nuisances turbines can create, such as noise or shadow flicker, or the dangers associated with turbines catching fire or breaking. During a meeting of the board’s zoning committee on Monday night, however, two board members said they feel such a setback should only apply to residential land, not nonresidential properties.
Apex Clean Energy has proposed constructing 80 to 120 wind turbines in rural Morgan County for the Lincoln Land Wind project, but was waiting on updates to a Morgan County ordinance that came Monday. The Morgan County commissioners approved an updated ordinance addressing wind farms after more than a year of work on details of the regulation.
The new ordinance increases setbacks from 1,000 feet from a house’s foundation to 1,650 feet from the foundation of the home of a non-participating landowner and 1,320 feet from the foundation of the house of a participating landowner. ...“It’s disappointing,” said Mike Woodyard, who has been advocating for larger setbacks from the property line. “It’s a sad day when our county board refuses to recognize the rights of a property owner at the property line.”
But the recent changes did include increased cost estimates for dismantling of the complex if it ceases operation. The company agreed to increase the dollar amount of the decommissioning performance bond and bear any additional costs of chemical application incurred by farmers who are not leasing land to EDP. Munson said some crop dusting contractors refuse to fly within a wind farm. Others will, but only at additional cost, he added.
Faced with mammoth amounts of information — studies, reports, comments from citizens — the Douglas County Board has pushed back a final vote on whether to let a wind farm set up shop. The board was scheduled to rule Monday on Texas-based EDP Renewables' application to build the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm in Newman and Murdock townships.