The White Oak Wind Energy Center will get another public hearing in Woodford County because there have been questions about how zoning officials handled a public hearing.
The decision to have a new hearing nullifies the Zoning Board of Appeals’ 4-0 vote recommending special-use permits for 10 to 15 turbines in Kansas Township.
No date has been set for the new hearing, which also will include another round of public comments.
At the end of the two-night meeting on Oct. 26, members of the Zoning Board of Appeals stepped away from the table to discuss how to resolve differences between two proposed lists of restrictions on the wind farm.
The audience, meeting in the gymnasium of the grade school in Congerville, could not hear the board’s deliberations.
“There could have been the perception that it could have been improper,” said Zoning Administrator John Hamann. “We don’t think there was any intent to hide anything, but we want to be safe.”
While some audience members complained that night, Hamann said the zoning office has received no calls about the matter since the meeting. However, the board decided to have a new hearing after consulting State’s Attorney Mike Stroh.
“We’ll err on the side of caution,” said Hamann.
The $200 million project by Chicago-based Invenergy Wind will include 100 turbines, mostly in McLean County.
By J.W. Shults
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