Articles from Illinois
The village board voted last month to send the resolution to the county board. The resolution states that the village opposes changes to the county’s wind-farm ordinance that were proposed on Nov. 1 by the county’s zoning board of appeals — in particular, those related to setbacks and turbine height limitations. The proposed changes are now being considered by the 12-member county board.
Since Dec. 1, when four newcomers joined the 12-member board, the board has already met in special session once to discuss the proposed changes to the county’s ordinance regulating wind farms. A second special meeting was scheduled for Dec. 20 but ended up being canceled due to some confusion that arose about whether the meeting was to be attended by all board members or just those who serve on the board’s zoning committee, Lindgren said.
The area in question “is part of the Great Sauk Trail and a migratory route for birds,” said Linda Grant, of Kewanee. She asked the board to delay a decision for 90 days to give time to gather additional information on the cultural and ecological importance of the area.
MONMOUTH — The Warren County Board narrowly approved motions Tuesday to allow permitting of a wind energy project along the McDonough County border.
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.