Zoning requests for a drug rehabilitation facility and a second wind turbine farm will go to Henry County’s zoning board of appeals tonight with positive recommendations from the planning committee.
The planning committee ruled 5-0 Monday that both requests were consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan.
Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) of Silver Springs, Md., is seeking 70 special use permits for its Midland wind farm between Kewanee and Cambridge, after obtaining county board approval for its initial 135-turbine Spring Creek wind farm in Munson Township last week. Centered in Burns Township, the new farm will extend into Cambridge and Galva townships as well.
John Oliver of Wethersfield Township voiced an objection to the wind farm based on neighboring farms’ ability to spray their crops. He noted when the turbines were first broached, corn was about $2 a bushel but now it’s $3.75, and he said most pilots he’s talked to want a mile clearance from the wind turbines, which he said would severely affect neighboring farms.
Oliver has voiced this concern at past meetings without apparent effect and planning committee member Kurt Kuchle said pilots now get fairly close to electric transmission lines.
Another individual wanted to know if he would be able to see the turbines from his home approximately three miles away. A CPV representative said the firm can provide a visual model of what it will look like from his house and there are visual things they can do to ameliorate the effect.
“We can at least give you an idea of what it will look like,” he said.
No verbal or written objections were made to the New Life Covenant drug rehabilitation facility. The facility, owned by a Chicago area church, is now operating legally for up to five women and plans to expand to allow up to 20 women by tearing down a barn to build a dormitory on its rural site south of Hillcrest Home on Route 82.
Both the New Life Covenant request and the wind farm requests go to the zoning board of appeals Tuesday.
The committee also discussed geothermal heating and cooling systems. Kuchle, who is also a sanitarian with the Henry County Health Department, said a lot of new homes are installing the new systems and while the state doesn’t allow permits to be issued, he would nevertheless like to register geothermal systems because they are not visible above ground.
The planning committee is to talk about adopting setback regulations from neighboring wells and septic systems in January.
By Lisa Hammer of The Star Courier
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