MUTUAL – Residents wanting restrictions on turbine construction will have to make another proposal after the Union Twp. trustees rejected a proposal Tuesday.
Trustees Howard Peters and Jim Virts voted in sync with previous votes of the Union Twp. Zoning Commission and the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission earlier this year, both of which also rejected the same proposal for required setback distance for being “too restrictive.”
Trustee Douglas Hurst recused himself from the discussion and vote because of a possible implied conflict of interest by his position on the board of Pioneer Rural Electric Cooperative.
The proposal, originally submitted to the township zoning commission by Union Neighbors United, suggested regulating wind turbines to a minimum of 2,600 feet from a residence or property line, Virts said. It also restricted the tower height to 360 feet.
“I have dealt with other setbacks in cell towers and such, and you can get too aggressive,” Virts said.
The trustees’ vote was the last shot for the original proposal, but Virts said Union Neighbors United – a group of township residents concerned about regulating the possible turbine construction – have the option of filing updated proposals in the future.
Only two Union Twp. residents voiced their opinions before the vote.
Resident Julie Johnson supported the proposal and said after the vote that Union Neighbors United will re-evaluate the proposal.
Johnson said the county prosecutor provided a list of issues in the original proposal that the group will review before re-filing.
Robin Berry, also a township resident, said supported the trustees’ decision.
“I’m glad because it lets me know, lets the community know, lets our township know, that they are thinking for the future, that they are concerned about energy consumption and where our energy is going to come from,” she said.
By Natalie Morales
18 July 2007
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