Commercial wind farms in Ogle County got another setback Tuesday when the county board extended a moratorium on granting permit applications.
By a 21-1 vote, the board added six months to the moratorium adopted last spring, stretching the temporary hold to June 30 of next year.
Pat Saunders, Polo, cast the only no vote. Mel Messer and Skip Kenney, both of Rochelle, did not attend the meeting.
Last April the board adopted a moratorium on action on all special use permit applications for the construction and operation of commercial electricity-generating wind towers within the county until Dec. 31.
The county board established a subcommittee last March to study the impact of commercial wind energy conversion systems (WECS) and whether or not the current zoning ordinances should be made more stringent.
County zoning ordinances currently allow wind farms as a special use on property zoned for agriculture.
The WECS Committee met frequently from March through August and drew up proposed changes to the ordinance. Their recommendations are still being discussed by county committees.
The resolution passed by the board Tuesday said the county’s Supervisor of Assessments and Planning and Zoning Committee had determined that further research is necessary regarding commercial wind towers and their appropriate regulation.
Prior to the moratorium, the county board approved special use permits for the Baileyville Wind Farm.
Although Navitas Wind Energy, Minneapolis, Minn., the builder of that wind farm, was granted the special use permit on Dec. 20, 2005 to construct 40 windmills on 5,000 acres of farmland in Leaf River and Maryland Townships, none have been built due to lawsuits filed in federal and state court.
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