The developers of a proposed wind farm in northern Logan and Tazewell Counties have pulled their application for a special use permit, but say the project will still go forward.
Bill Whitlock is the project development manager for the proposed Rail Splitter Wind Farm. Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy is the developer for the project.
“We’re going to cancel the application and refile it in June,” Whitlock said. “We just want to make sure we have everything in order.”
The application was removed after a motion was filed by a Rockford attorney on behalf of a group of residents opposed to the wind farm. Attorney Rick Porter said some residents in Logan County were not properly notified of the special use permit application.
“Not everyone entitled to receive notification received that notification,” Porter said. “In addition to those living within one quarter-mile of a proposed tower, notice is also required for any residents who have property located adjacent to a property where a tower is placed. Some of those residents did not receive notification.”
Some residents are opposed to the wind farm because of the impact it could have on property values.
A total of 67 towers standing 389 feet tall are expected to be placed if the project goes through. Twenty-nine of the towers are to be located in Logan County. Construction could start this year if Horizon Wind Energy receives approval.
Logan County Zoning Officer Will D’Andrea said officials with Horizon Wind Energy decided to withdraw the current application because of the potential for having it rejected on the basis that not all of the residents who lived within a quarter-mile of a proposed tower had been notified.
“We are one of the few counties that does not get involved in the official notification process and this is one of the reasons why,” D’Andrea said. “The applicant is required to provide us with the names and addresses of everyone within a quarter-mile of the project. We want to get more detailed maps and detailed information and have a meeting with them before they resubmit their application so we can avoid these technical problems in the future.”
D’Andrea said the process is being scrutinized heavily by the group opposed to the wind farm. He indicated that if the application is resubmitted soon, there will likely be three public meetings scheduled for mid-June. After that, the application will go before the Zoning Board of Appeals and the County Board would likely take action in July or possibly during a special meeting in late June.
D’Andrea said he expects any application to be challenged by the attorneys for the group opposed to the wind farm.
By Kevin Barlow
19 May 2008
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