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Opposition wants judge to stop wind farm vote  

A group opposing construction of a 100-turbine wind farm in western McLean County is asking a judge to stop the County Board from taking a vote on a special use permit for the project.

A McLean County Circuit Court judge is slated to hear the petition at 3 p.m. today.

Information Is Power Inc., through its attorney, Melissa McGrath, maintains state law provides the public 35 days to appeal a decision by the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals.

McGrath said the zoning board’s final decision was not prepared until March 14 so a planned vote by the McLean County Board on Tuesday does not provide the law required 35 days.

Zoning Board of Appeals Attorney Brian Hug said the portion of the code McGrath has cited only pertains to zoning variances, not special-use permits.

White Oak Wind Energy is seeking a special-use permit for the wind farm that also will be on a portion of land in Woodford County.

The McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals recommended the special-use permit for the project to the County Board on Feb. 8 after 12 days of sometimes heated hearings.

But McGrath maintains in her emergency petition to the court that the not-for-profit Information Is Power group could not get a final copy of the zoning board’s decision until March 14.

“The 35-day window for petitioners to appeal could not have begun to run until service of the ZBA’s final decision “¦ was officially affected,” McGrath said in the petition.

She also maintains a vote by the County Board at its Tuesday meeting “precludes Petitioners from their right to appeal the ZBA’s final ruling. As such Petitioners will be irreparably harmed without entry of a temporary restraining order.”

By Mary Ann Ford

pantagraph.com

19 March 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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