Articles filed under Zoning/Planning
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.
Before the week was out, Savoy's building inspector swatted down the application, faulting it for lacking required information. But the rejection comes with a 30-day appeals period — giving the project one last shot.
“We really need to get something on the books as far as an ordinance much sooner than later,” Supervisor Erik Underberg said in January. “Without an ordinance we are not doing anything in the best interest of the county.”
Opponents of the project, organized as Cedar Valley Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, mostly live in the southern part of the county and have voiced a number of concerns about its impact on their health and property values.
The Miami County Planning and Building Commission approved amendments to the county’s wind energy ordinance that at least one official said would essentially kill any prospect of future wind turbine installation in the county.
“I think this is a very good piece of legislation that is making sure that all property owners have a voice in the process,” said state Rep. Cameron Sexton, who sponsored the bill in the House. “It’s a very reasonable approach that takes into account personal property rights as well as the rights of adjacent property owners.”
During the Thursday, April 5 meeting of the Chesaning Township Board, a couple of citizens voiced their concerns about industrial windmills and asked the board to begin working on a windmill ordinance.
Attorneys in Penn Forest Township peppered Atlantic Wind representatives with questions Wednesday night as the township zoning hearing board continued testimony on the pending application to build a string of turbines in the township.
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.
The planning board decided that the sound level to the nearest nonparticipating property line must not exceed 45 decibels. Planning board members haggled over the minimum setback for non-participating parties; settling on 325 percent of turbine height. They set the maximum commercial turbine height at 500 feet; with no interference of television, radio or cell phone service.
The Ford County Board’s zoning committee met and listened to public comments about wind farms from a crowd Monday night. Speakers included representatives of wind farm companies, residents who want tighter control of those companies and even a member of the Iroquois County Board.
The regulations that were approved establish a set of rules more stringent than state regulations. At earlier county board meetings, it was disclosed that some landowners in the county had been approached by two wind energy companies seeking easements.
Hundreds of wind-farm opponents pack meeting to discuss changes to wind ordinance
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.
A representative of the renewable energy company EDP Renewables approached the Jasper County Commissioners on the morning of Monday, March 5 to discuss plans for a wind farm which may require use of a local county road. The project, a wind farm, would be located in Benton County. The project was planned to be placed at 2,000 feet west of Benton County Road 1100 East and therefore about 1,500 feet West of Jasper County Road 380, south of Jasper County Road 1900 South. If all goes as intended for the company, Construction may start as early as sometime in April.
The Hopkinton Town Board agreed Tuesday night not to extend the wind overlay zone south of Route 72 as part of their new wind law. The agreement came at a work session in which the public was not allowed to speak.
A zoning administrator acted illegally when she granted applications to a company to build turbines on agricultural land north and east of Fairbank. That’s what the Iowa Court of Appeals said in a Feb. 21 ruling.
A major change to the ordinance involves the noise limit emitting from a wind turbine from 60 decibels to 48 decibels. The second change would increase the required setback for property lines from 1,300 feet to 1,500 feet. ...The noise decibel level will be measured at the nearest primary structure for a participating landowner or at the nearest property line of a non-participating landowner.
"Too often I see county governments be enticed by the thought of additional tax revenue without raising taxes," Martis said Saturday. "But in truth, placing turbines in just a few townships for countywide revenue enhancements is actually a decision to tax those few townships with the loss of amenity at home and quality of life without compensation."
State’s renewable mandate also bringing hundreds of new turbine towers