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Homer board has concerns over proposed solar array

The News-Gazette|Dave Hinton|September 29, 2022
IllinoisZoning/PlanningPhotovoltaic Solar
White said trustees are also concerned about the solar farm limiting expansion of the town in that direction. “That’s in reference that 55 acres would not be available if the village would happen to expand,” he said. “It blocks us in. It’s so close to the village.” White said there is also a concern that property values would be adversely affected. Gavin said the solar farm would likely be developed by another company. That company would be charged with maintaining the site, including keeping vegetation cleared.

HOMER — A 55-acre solar farm is proposed on Homer’s east side, and village trustees have a number of concerns.
 
Kiera Gavin of Medanos Solar LLC took questions and heard concerns posed by trustees and the public at a recent village board meeting.
 
“She was informative and was upfront, and she answered our questions,” Village President Jim White said.
 
Among the chief concerns was the location of the proposed solar farm on ground that is now farmed adjacent to village hall. The site is not within village limits but is zoned residential.
 
“It’s part of the application procedure that a municipality within a mile and a half, they have to notify us,” White said.
 
A special-use permit application has been presented by Medanos Solar to the Champaign County Zoning Board of Appeals. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 29.
 
White said he expects the village board to be represented at the hearing.
 
Anticipated life of the solar farm was placed at 40 years.
 
Another of the village board’s primary concerns is that the solar farm would be located over a large village storm tile.
 
“We’re very concerned about damage to it and access to it when ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]
     
HOMER — A 55-acre solar farm is proposed on Homer’s east side, and village trustees have a number of concerns.
 
Kiera Gavin of Medanos Solar LLC took questions and heard concerns posed by trustees and the public at a recent village board meeting.
 
“She was informative and was upfront, and she answered our questions,” Village President Jim White said.
 
Among the chief concerns was the location of the proposed solar farm on ground that is now farmed adjacent to village hall. The site is not within village limits but is zoned residential.
 
“It’s part of the application procedure that a municipality within a mile and a half, they have to notify us,” White said.
 
A special-use permit application has been presented by Medanos Solar to the Champaign County Zoning Board of Appeals. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 29.
 
White said he expects the village board to be represented at the hearing.
 
Anticipated life of the solar farm was placed at 40 years.
 
Another of the village board’s primary concerns is that the solar farm would be located over a large village storm tile.
 
“We’re very concerned about damage to it and access to it when there’s a need for maintenance on it,” White said.
 
Energy produced by the solar farm would go into Ameren’s grid and would be used locally, according to White, adding, “That doesn’t mean here in Homer, but in their grid here.”
 
Gavin said there would be no glare or reflection off the solar units.
 
White said trustees are also concerned about the solar farm limiting expansion of the town in that direction.
 
“That’s in reference that 55 acres would not be available if the village would happen to expand,” he said. “It blocks us in. It’s so close to the village.”
 
White said there is also a concern that property values would be adversely affected.
 
Gavin said the solar farm would likely be developed by another company. That company would be charged with maintaining the site, including keeping vegetation cleared.
 
Another concern involved limiting the use of the village hall area for Fourth of July.
 
“When we have Fourth of July, we have fireworks, and it’s set off right back by the property, and it would be right over top of the solar farm,” White said, adding that Gavin indicated that would not be a problem.
 
Trustee candidates sought
 
The meeting was the second since White was approved as village president following the resignation of Jeremy Richards in July.
 
A successor is needed to fill the open seat on the board.
 
The names of individuals interested in being appointed to the seat are being accepted at village hall.

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:https://www.news-gazette.com/…

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