Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Illinois
Board Chairman David Hepler said Monday commissioners are prepared for large turnouts at an initial board meeting scheduled for Thursday at the Logan County Courthouse and at a second meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, when a board vote is anticipated. Both meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m.
"I was frustrated with myself and embarrassed that I didn't pay attention to what I was saying," he told the station. "My vote would have ended this. I screwed up. By admitting this, I will catch a lot of heck. It's eating me up." ...This week officials said the re-vote would happen at the county board's next monthly meeting, which is July 16.
In his report, he noted that while the ZBA found that the application met or generally met the vague “special use” provisions in the county code, it did not meet other standards, such as Standard 3(ii), which states that “The Special Use will not substantially and permanently injure the appropriate use of neighboring property.”
"No matter how worthy you believe a cause, other people's lives should not be disregarded or their health and welfare diminished in an effort to achieve your goal," said Cary Shineldecker, of Mason County, Michigan, who recently sold his home on 16 acres of land for $80,000 under his original asking price.
The Logan County Board is expected to decide on a proposed wind farm for the county, but will do so without a recommendation from the county's Zoning Board of Appeals. ...ZBA Chairman Doug Thompson, who voted against the recommendation, said during the public hearings there was a lack of support for the project and he heard only opposition to the project from local residents.
The committee voted for all six resolutions at once, passing them 10-1. Committee member Todd Johnson of District 1 was the lone dissenting vote. ...The resolution calls for changes to include a setback of 1,640 feet from the property lines of non-participating properties.
“I would say it borders on a travesty,” said Lynn McLinden of Danville, one of the public members of the panel, which has continued its work without the board members.
Darrell Cambron of Rankin, one of the longtest-running residents to voice concerns, spoke to the board and indicated reviewing the wind ordinance was “right and fair thing to do.” Ted Hartke of Hope, who also has spoken out regarding the wind turbines and ordinance, said the board “must make adjustments to correct” the ordinance.
More than 10 years ago, a proposed mega-sized hog farm had some Vermilion County residents calling for zoning. Next, it was a proposed medical waste incinerator. Now, it's wind farms.
For more than a year, several members of the public have been repeatedly asking the board to reconsider its wind ordinance. In the absence of zoning, the county board adopted an ordinance stipulating some safety issues regarding wind turbines.
Champaign County Board members have gone on record as being opposed to legislation in Springfield that they contend would weaken their oversight of wind farms. In a unanimous voice vote, board members approved a resolution opposing Senate Bill 3263, proposed by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville.
Sullivan said he is aware that his proposed law, which is an initiative of the Illinois Farm Bureau, is not looked upon favorably by some counties, specifically those that want to retain local control over wind farms. Wind-energy advocates are also not supportive of the measure. However, Sullivan thinks the change would help bring consistency to Illinois’ wind-farm rules, which vary greatly by county.
During the meeting, Vince Green, representing Mainstream Renewables changed his tune when he realized his company was “on the ropes”. He said that his company was ready to come to the negotiation table to “voluntarily” increase setbacks from wind turbines in relationship to homes. His last ditch effort to salvage the marketability of the project showed that Mainstream Renewables may only be saying whatever it takes to keep hope alive. Mainstream Renewables is known for “flipping” projects for a short-term gain.
Members split the vote 6-6 on increasing the minimum distance that wind turbines must be located from property lines. The proposal failed by a single vote. Applicants interested in obtaining a special use permit to build a specific project must have the approval of the majority of members present for the measure to pass. If the vote is split evenly again, development will not happen.
Mainstream Renewable Power is proposing a project with up to 100 wind turbines for 8,000 acres bordered by North Boone School Board on the south, Grade School Road to the west, Wisconsin state line on the north and McHenry County line to the east. Opponents presented each board member with a stack of petitions signed by 1,300 people who don't want the development.
Alt said there have been residents from within all the area wind farms voicing concerns with noise and other issues. He said not all their stories are the same, but they are close, and he can't believe they are all making it up. The wind companies disagree with such claims, and board members have challenged them for proof. "And I can't see why we should OK something that draws this much controversy from people who don't have anything to do with them."
The revisions call for the wind ordinance to be changed so that the setback between turbines and nonparticipating primary structures - or homes located on property not being leased for a wind farm - be increased from 1,500 feet to a distance equivalent to 12 times the rotar diameter.
In November the Boone County Zoning Board of Appeals recommended the setback for wind turbines be 1,500 feet from property lines. However, the board sent the ordinance back to committee for more hearings ..."They thought (the setbacks) should be three times the height of the turbine," she said of the county board.
Commercial wind turbines built in Iroquois County might soon need to be located almost a full mile from homes on property not being leased to a wind farm operator.
Vermilion County Board officials clearly heard what the current WECS project has done to many rural residents. Families know their property values and physical health have declined while the dominating effects of these industrial machines have ignored property lines, invaded homes and split neighborhoods.