Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
Committee member Ron VonHolten suggested several changes, including eliminating a section that would have allowed shadow flicker problems to be addressed with plantings or awnings. He also said complaints should include shutting down the turbine from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. until the problem is fixed. "If it's noise issues, you can't say, ‘Well, in 60 days, I get to sleep,'" he said.
They want to see a greater setback, provide a mile and a half setback for all incorporated towns in Adams County, allow for binding arbitration between individuals and the wind energy companies and require companies to offer property value guarantees to land owners.
"We're discovering that they create noise, they make it hard for people to live next to them," Gebhardt said. "So why not be responsible and set that distance further away now than have some Adams County residents have to suffer with problems we already know that other people have got."
Another change came in the area of shadow flicker. Under the ordinance, the primary residence of any non-participating landowner shall not be subject to any shadow flicker at all. Shadow flicker on other parts of the landowner's property will be allowed, but the allowable amount was decreased from 20 to five hours per year.
Board member Steve Schultz proposed requiring wind farm operators to first obtain County Board approval for turbines. Currently, applicants need only obtain approval from county staff in addition to clearing any necessary environmental hurdles. Shultz's proposal failed.
At stake is how the local government deals with issues ranging in impact from a person wanting to move his or her garage a few inches too close to the property line, to whether the county allows a company to erect 100 wind turbines in the area.
The Franklin Grove Wind Energy Investigative Committee voted 3 - 0 with a quorum present to recommend to the village board that the board adopt a ban of industrial wind energy conversion systems in Franklin Grove and the surrounding 1.5 mile radius.
After consulting with Village President Robert Brasen and reviewing current maps, LeSage recommended limiting wind turbines in the 1 to 1.5 mile range to the industrial use areas on the northwest and southeast areas of the village. Brasen said those areas would go along with the village's future plans, which would likely continue industrial growth in those areas.
We've seen the debris that was thrown by a malfunctioning turbine in DeKalb County. We've seen the blade that was left hanging after a lightning strike there, too. We've read about problems at other sites. We're concerned about the noise and sound that is created by the huge turbines.
In a June 6 legal opinion, Assistant Attorney General Tola Sobitan said the county was required to allow public participation at its meetings. The agency found that the county didn't have any "established or recorded" rules governing public comments at its meetings.
"Basically, you are giving that landowner the right, through ordinance to farm property that he has leased to somebody else," said committee member Duane Kingdon. "And you can't do that. You cannot give, by ordinance, the right for me to farm my neighbor's farm."
Board chairman Jim Barnes assured the audience of approximately 120 that the subcommittee's recommendations will be carefully considered before they are approved or rejected by the county board. Three committees will consider the recommendations before the county board votes on them.
Karen House of Edison Mission Group was present to address the 19 complaints that have been filed regarding television reception, and 12 complaints each filed on noise and shadow flicker issues with the project. House said representatives would be in the area next week to meet with landowners. ...Money was the primary mitigant for the problems.
The Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeals expects to make its recommendation next week as to whether or not to grant an extension for conditional use permits issued three years ago for the Walnut Ridge wind farm project.
One resident at the meeting still wants the county to reconsider its wind ordinance before moving through the application process. Rankin-area resident Kim Cambron distributed some information about her safety concerns regarding wind turbines.
On Tuesday night, trustees said the latest extension was necessary because the Plan Commission is currently holding public hearings to gather supplementary testimony on the subject.
A final decision on whether to extend the conditional use permits for the proposed Walnut Ridge wind farm will not be made until at least March 17. More than 100 people filled the large courtroom in the Bureau County Courthouse Monday night for the resumed Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. The meeting had begun Feb. 17, but was recessed after 30 minutes because the developer of the project did not have legal counsel.
While wind turbines rotate east of Streator and Ottawa, lawmakers in Wisconsin are debating wind farm policy that could serve as a national model.
Wind farms remain a hot button issue in Woodford County. On Tuesday night, the County Board voted 10-5 to pass a resolution to temporarily halt issuing new wind farm permits until Sept. 21, pending the state's attorney's decision on the legality of the resolution.
After struggling with the controversial issue of wind energy regulations for the past two years, Lake County Board members may separate regulations for large wind farm proposals and smaller turbine requests. ...With several board members leaning against approval of larger turbine farms in Lake County, that move could open the door for requests for smaller turbines that are not seen as the primary use of a property.