Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
The DeWitt County Board's decisions Thursday night to expand the setback around wind farm turbine towers but not limit their height pleased a developer proposing such a project but left some residents unhappy.
She was among about 70 people who attended the meeting of the ZBA, which recommended limiting the height of any tower to 499 feet ...also called for requiring a minimum distance of 2,000 feet between a tower and the nearest house. The current ordinance requires a setback of 1,500 feet.
Wind energy has been a contentious subject in Livingston County since Invenergy first filed an application to build a wind farm near Fairbury in 2014. While setbacks were increased countywide after the County Board acted on results from the 2016 general election referendum, the possibility of more wind turbines coming to the area, especially in the northeastern townships, remains an open question.
The 120-day moratorium that was approved in October was set to expire soon. At the insistence of board member Tim Nuss of rural Roberts, the ban will not be lifted until the board approves a revised ordinance regulating wind farms.
BLOOMINGTON — A proposal for McLean County's next wind farm still is on track — but with some minor changes.
The DeWitt County Land Use Committee sent all of the proposed restrictions to the full county board for further discussion during their January 18 meeting.
Members of the public on Monday night urged Ford County Board members to consider, among other measures, the need to increase the minimum distance that wind turbines can be located from homes.
For the second time in a month, the Ford County Board voted Monday night to place a moratorium on granting any future wind farm permits until the county’s permitting ordinance is reviewed. Last month’s vote was taken without the specific action listed on the agenda for the meeting, so it was deemed invalid. But this time, the measure is legally binding.
Steve Faivre (D-4), Planning and Zoning committee chairman, said the moratorium applies to the wind turbines themselves, as well as solar panels used to generate commercial energy, not the testing towers. "The testing just gives EDF the information as to whether or not it would be commercially viable to do that from a wind standpoint," Faivre said.
The DeKalb County Board unanimously approved a moratorium Wednesday on developing wind and solar farms for 18 months or until a sustainable energy ordinance is passed.
The DeKalb County Planning and Zoning Committee agreed Wednesday to hold a second public hearing on whether to build two 200-foot-tall wind testing towers after the first hearing was criticized for being held in too small a venue and not giving enough public notice. ...The moratorium is expected to be heard at the next County Board meeting March 15.
When the board meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, it will consider approving a policy mandating specific setbacks, turbine heights, decommissioning requirements and wildlife impact studies for future wind projects.
In a letter sent to residents who agreed to lease farmland for wind turbines, Chicago-based Mainstream Renewable Power says a more-restrictive county ordinance approved last year makes it too difficult to move forward with the six-year project.
The policy is intended to replace a vague ordinance, and “many of the things in our proposed text were imposed by the Zoning Board in previous special use permits," said Anna Ziegler, assistant manager at the McLean County Farm Bureau — which helped draft the rules.
Currently, its setback distance for wind turbines is at least 1,200 feet from homes. La Salle County's is the same. In Livingston County, officials are considering raising the setback to 1,600 feet. Some in the county's southern part are looking to increase it to 4,000. At nearly a mile, such a distance might effectively shut out wind farm development.
In an attempt to push the company into action, the committee hired an independent firm, Patrick Engineering, in November 2015 to do a cost study and write a decommissioning plan. The action is allowed under the special use permit with Minonk LLC paying the cost of the study. A copy of the report, which indicated the security deposit should be $15,135,851, was sent to Minonk Wind Farm LLC, which did not respond.
County Board OKs project with 12 stipulations/conditions
Despite a recommendation of denial of all 127 conditional use permits by the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) last month, the county board approved all but nine permits on Tuesday.
The county board will now have the final say in whether or not to grant the 127 conditional use permits for the wind farm project. ...the board has been known to vote against recommendations given by the planning commission and the zoning board of appeals.
When wind energy development first darkened the door of Bureau County several years ago, there really wasn’t that much information available as to the adverse side effects these projects brought with them. That is no longer the case. The horror stories that used to be happening somewhere else are now being experienced on a daily basis by our very own citizens and residents of Bureau County. The elected officials that brought us the first wind development claimed, and rightfully so, “We didn’t know.” The time has now come for this county board to stand up.