Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
Sugar Creek Wind One representative Stan Komperda said the company must wait for more windy days before being able to compile all of the data necessary to apply for building permits in the New Holland/Middletown area to construct its wind farm project. This time of year is the least likely time to get accurate wind data in central Illinois. ..."I don't see us applying for permits until some time this fall."
A group of about three dozen residents likely will file a lawsuit in appeal of the county board's decision to grant a permit to an energy company to build a wind farm in the county, an attorney representing the group said Thursday. "I view it as highly likely we will be appealing," Rick Porter, an attorney for the anti-wind farm group Citizens for Open Government, said early Thursday afternoon.
The town will begin its review today of a plan submitted by the state's largest wind power developer to build a 34-turbine, 51-megawatt wind-to-energy facility along Oakfield Hills. The Wind Energy Review Facility Committee will start reviewing First Wind of Massachusetts' application to build the $120 million facility at 6:30 p.m. at the Oakfield Community Center, Town Manager Dale Morris said. He strongly urged residents to attend.
Wind farm opponents got no reprieve from Woodford County on Tuesday, which voted to leave unchanged the ordinance that would increase the distance of wind turbines from adjoining structures. By an 8-6 vote, the Woodford County Board agreed with the county's Zoning Board of appeals not to increase the setbacks from the current 750 feet to 1,800 feet. To overturn the ZBA's recommendation would have required a super-majority vote.
Landowners should be more concerned about controlling the site plan of a wind tower than by how much money they'll get, a local attorney says. William Shay of Peoria was among those speaking during "Wind Energy 101, From a Landowner's Perspective."
Residents who spent weeks researching and discussing wind farm issues were dealt a blow Thursday when the Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously against larger setbacks of wind turbines. In denying the motion, the five-member board voted against amending the wind farm ordinance so that towers would be set at least 1,800 feet back from any adjoining structure, and at least 1.1 times the tower height from a dwelling structure.
DeKalb County is one step closer to seeing more than 100 wind turbines erected on its landscape after the county board planning and zoning committee voted unanimously Wednesday night to grant a conditional special-use permit to NextEra Energy Resources that would allow the company to build the turbines.
Despite protests and a "suggestion," when it came to a vote by the Champaign County Board on Thursday night, approval of a county wind farm ordinance was a breeze. After about two hours of discussion, with comments for and against, the wind farm ordinance was approved by a vote of 24-2 with one abstention.
A hearing officer has recommended the DeKalb County Board approve, with conditions, a special use permit sought by an energy company that wants to build a wind farm on the Lee-DeKalb county border. The approval is a reversal of Hearing Officer David Dockus' original recommendation to deny the request from NextEra Energy Resources, which has proposed building and operating a 151-turbine wind energy plant.
Woodford County officials will wait a week to again take up an issue that is alternately called a critical wind farm safety issue or a thinly veiled attempt to shut down wind energy development. A contentious hearing before the Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday ultimately was continued until next week with more than a dozen residents still seeking to testify on a proposal that would increase the setback distances of wind turbines from buildings, roads and property lines.
A hearing officer has recommended the DeKalb County Board approve, with conditions, a special use permit requested by an energy company that wants to build a wind farm in four townships in the county. The approval is a reversal of Hearing Officer David Dockus's original recommendation, which was to deny the request from NextEra Energy Resources, which has proposed building and operating a 151-turbine wind-energy plant.
A committee of the DeKalb County Board is the next stop for an application from an energy company that wants to build a wind farm in the county. A reopened public hearing regarding the application for a special-use permit from NextEra Energy Resources to build and operate a 133-turbine wind farm in the county concluded about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, county planner Paul Miller said.
Much of the early session's testimony was dominated by attorneys and an expert witness in acoustics, who testified that wind turbines generate dangerous levels of low-frequency noise that can have a negative effect on health. Several residents of wind farms in other states also offered testimony, saying the turbines have negatively affected their quality of life. The biggest concerns expressed by the seven county residents who spoke in the six-hour early session were potential impacts on property values and health.
An ordinance to regulate wind farms in Champaign County will go to the full county board later this month. Members of the county's Environment and Land Use Committee voted unanimously Monday night to send the ordinance to the county board for its May 21 meeting. The committee rejected a request by the city of Champaign to extend its extra- territorial jurisdiction by 1 mile, pushing the zone around the city to 2½ miles.
It only appeared Doug Huser was running Tuesday's marathon meeting of the county's conservation, planning and zoning committee. The first-term County Board member challenged Terry Pille, who chaired the meeting, about his intention to vote on wind farm issues. Both Pille and his wife are involved in a wind farm project in Minonk. At a previous meeting, Pille said he would seek the advice of State's Attorney Mike Stroh.
At the city's plan commission meeting this week, members voted 5-0 to not protest a proposed county zoning ordinance text amendment that would allow wind farms in the county Agriculture 1 zoning district with approval of a special-use permit by the Champaign County Board. But the plan commission is also suggesting - at the planning staff's recommendation - that the county board should not approve a wind farm unless it is at least 2 1/2 miles from a municipal boundary. That's a mile beyond what the county board had been considering.
Anticipating the construction of a wind farm in DeWitt County, the County Board formally adopted an ordinance governing the turbine towers Thursday night after more than two years of research and writing. But board members say more work on the ordinance is necessary before special-use permits are granted and towers are constructed.
Bureau County should experience additional activity in the coming months from area wind farms. At its April 15 meeting, the Bureau County Board took action on requests from Crescent Ridge 2, south of Wyanet in southern Bureau County, and also on requests from the proposed Big Sky wind farm, between Ohio and Walnut in northern Bureau County.
Efforts to locate two wind farms in Edgar County are already generating something - but it's not electricity. Edgar County Board member Dan Winans urged his fellow board members during Wednesday morning's meeting to sponsor a session for municipality and other government officials to discuss issues with experts from the Illinois Farm Bureau.
A proposed wind energy farm off the coast of Northwestern's campus could cut a "gigantic" amount of Evanston's carbon emissions, said Nathan Kipnis, one of Chicago's best-known "green" architects. Citizens for a Greener Evanston recently drew up the proposal, which calls for 10 turbines above the waters of Lake Michigan, four miles off the NU shoreline and Dawes Park.