A recommendation to accept a citizen-initiated wind turbine zoning amendment carried Monday with Rushcreek Township Trustee Marlyn Kelly voting contrary to his fellow trustees.
Mr. Kelly opposed a motion by Gary Downing to reject the Rushcreek Township Zoning Commission recommendation to adopt the amendment.
“Gary’s (Downing) looking for a yes vote?” Mr. Kelly asked. “Well then, I vote no.
“We’ve got five people who voted 5-0 in support of the amendment and I respect their vote.”
The vote came after two hours of public comment. About 60 people attended the meeting.
Mr. Downing said he believed the township’s current height restrictions of nothing more than 50 feet tall would be enough to protect the township until a committee studying the issue could develop zoning guidelines.
Mr. Downing and Harold Mobley feel the proposed amendment with its aesthetic and health concerns goes too far and may not stand up in court.
Mr. Downing also was concerned about going against the recommendation of the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission and rushing ahead before the township received guidance from Logan County Prosecutor Gerald Heaton.
“Until we as a group listen to other people and come up with a recommendation, I’m going to look to the LUC and the county prosecutor for advice,” said Mr. Downing, who is on the committee studying wind turbine zoning.
“Even the anti-wind turbines ads I’ve seen say ‘Stop, Slow Down and Wait,’” he said. “Yet they present us with an amendment that forces us to act.”
Mr. Kelly said he felt the township had been ignored by the wind turbine developers.
“I think they should have been here to talk to us,” he said. “And tell us what they intend to do.” Mr. Mobley reminded
Mr. Kelly the trustees had been invited several times to attend meetings and tours sponsored by the turbine industry. He also noted that Mr. Kelly opposed inviting representatives to a trustee meeting.
“We published the time of this meeting in the paper and they can read about it there,” Mr. Kelly said.
The action in Rushcreek comes three weeks after Jefferson Township Trustees blocked the same amendment.
By Joel E. Mast
17 July 2007
[A copy of the zoning amendment accepted in Rushcreek is available at National Wind Watch: click here.]