Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Illinois
A dozen people voiced objections to a proposed wind farm Wednesday, including a Delavan man who says his house will be surrounded by 15 wind towers if the project is approved. "I can look out of every window in my home and see a wind tower," said Rod Egli of the Rail Splitter Wind Farm proposed by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC. "This will definitely light my backyard up with flashing red lights," he said, adding that three of the towers would be placed about 2,500 feet away from his house. Egli was one of 12 people, mostly from Delavan, who spoke out against the wind farm during a Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals meeting Wednesday night.
"It just seems like this is a perfect place for a wind farm, in big, open spaces," Town of Chilton resident Sandy Popp said. "In this project, there aren't many nonparticipating land owners, and I think that makes a huge difference. In our county, there will be hundreds of people who will not be participating who will be relatively close."
There is no mistaking where Bill Welty stands - the signs at the end of his driveway say it all - "No Wind Farms." The placards at the edge of Welty's Chana Road property, just south of state Route 64 in rural Ogle County, also feature a turbine circled in red, a line slashing through the middle. When he and his wife, Judy, moved from suburban Chicago three years ago to retire on Judy's parents' family farm, they came to enjoy their 230 acres of unspoiled prairie landscape. Now, with two separate wind-energy companies eyeing the county's rolling ridge lines, they face the prospect of 50 to 100 wind towers sprouting up all around them - ugly, noisy, bad-for-your health wind towers, Welty says.
Drive east of Bloomington at night and park for 20 minutes. Like the endless flashing lights? Each turbine is 450 feet tall and 50 of them flash 45,000 times every hour. Oh, I forgot, if you live in town, you don't have to look at them. For tens of thousands of us in rural areas, it is all night - everynight - for the rest of our lives.
As the debate over "Wind Farms" continues, and is now into court, I cannot help but wonder why it has progressed this far dividing neighbors, friends and families. I also reflect on how the whole ordeal, which has put much undue stress on all parties involved, could have been avoided had our County Board followed normal protocol regarding the granting of Special Use Permits. Last fall, when the hearing for Special Use Application was in front of the County Zoning Board of Appeals, there were several long nights of testimony from both sides. After all testimony was heard, the Zoning Board of Appeals voted 3-1 to deny the application. At that point, in normal county procedure, the issue is over and the applicants must wait a year to apply again. However, in this case, our County Board leadership decided to be above the norm and overturn the Zoning Board of Appeal's recommendation forcing themselves and the county into imminent litigation.
I really hope that everyone on the west side of Bloomington keeps fighting against construction of a wind farm. The Ellsworth-Arrowsmith area is virtually destroyed by turbines as far as you can see complete with red flashing lights at night. Many roads are virtually unusable because of damage caused by large trucks. Wind farms should be built on tracts of land, as close together as possible. That's how they are done in Arizona. They shouldn't be scattered all over the countryside!
Michael Miller used his actuarial skills to criticize the math behind a favorable report on the White Oak Wind Energy Center near Carlock, and Bob Burger tried to show how the proposed development would “engulf” his view. Miller, a former Carlock mayor, called the 100-turbine wind farm proposed by Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC a “mistake for Carlock’s future.” He and Burger were the first objectors called Monday during the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on the proposal. The hearing on Invenergy’s request for a special-use permit that would allow for the turbines in McLean County began Jan. 17 and is expected to continue at 6 p.m. today at the Government Center, 115 E. Washington St. “I do not find anything attractive about a 400-foot-tall forest of power plants,” Burger said.
How can we ask citizens of this county to live surrounded by these 400-foot machines? I encourage anyone to check the site map at the commission office on Lamm Road to see for themselves the sacrifice we are expecting from a significant number of our neighbors. Neighbors who only wish to enjoy the beautiful landscape and the rolling farmland our county provides, for the present anyway.
Our family has been blessed with living and raising a family by the Mackinaw River Valley north of Carlock. With all the timber and rolling hills, it’s breathtaking beauty. We find out from a neighbor that all this is in jeopardy. A proposed wind farm in our area is picking up steam by a Chicago-based company and the map of this project is devastating. As much as we applaud the technology, the placement of these monsters stinks.
Tom Hewson takes a very comprehensive look at the development issues associated with the proposed Baileyville Wind Farm in Illinois.