Libertyville plan commissioners are recommending a wind energy ordinance to the village board after many meetings of deliberating the details of how turbines should operate in the village.
Dave Gates, a member of the group “Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville,” has said that the group wants to ban wind turbines from the village. He’s pleased with the plan commission’s version of the ordinance, but is worried about what it will like when the village board makes its final decision on it.
“I’m very worried the village board will water down the ordinance for their own purposes,” he said in a recent interview.
The Citizens group and the plan commission have labored over the ordinance, studying sound levels, shadow flicker and vibration created by wind turbines.
Compared to the first draft of the village’s policy on wind turbines, Gates said it would be a “tragedy” if the village trustees do not approve the ordinance as it has been written.
“One point is that it (the newly recommended ordinance) does not allow a wind turbine to be put up on a property that abuts residential property. Secondly, the sound cannot be more than five decibels over ambient sound. Those are very strict requirements,” Gates said. “This time they did their homework.”
The village delayed authorizing wind turbines in March while the Lake County Wind Energy Task Force and Lake County Regional Planning Commission work on a wind energy model ordinance for communities to use.
Libertyville based its ordinance on a draft of the county’s model. The village’s proposal also covers small wind turbines.
The Citizens group also waged a lawsuit against Aldridge, asking a Lake County judge to rule that Aldridge should have to remove the turbine. However, Judge Mitchell Hoffman earlier this summer denied the group’s request.
The Citizens group’s second case regarding the wind turbine calls it a nuisance. It argues that the sound, vibration and sight of it create a nuisance in the daily lives of the residents who live near it. That case could go to trial, but dates have not been set yet.
The neighbors are still hopeful to sit at a table with Aldridge and Village officials outside of court to find a way to take down the turbine or move it farther from their homes, Gates said.