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Ashton mulls wind turbine ordinance

ASHTON – The Village of Ashton wants to know what its residents think of wind farms.

The village is considering adopting a restrictive ordinance regarding the placement of wind turbines. It would prohibit turbines from being within 1.5 miles of the village’s zoning jurisdictions.

A public hearing on the proposal is planned for 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Mills-Petrie gymnasium, 704 N. First St. People wishing to speak must sign in by 7 p.m. All speakers will be strictly limited to 5 minutes. The event is handicap accessible.

Ashton is just one of many Sauk Valley agencies considering or rewriting wind ordinances.

The Ogle County Board this week extended its moratorium on new wind farm development until June 30, 2011. Its original ban on new projects was set to expire Dec. 31.

In September, the Lee County Board passed a 6-month moratorium. Its Zoning Board of Appeals is examining wind farm regulations in response to mounting pressure from residents in and around existing and proposed developments.

Lee County already has more than 250 turbines built or under construction, and at least two developers are scouting the area for 100 or so more.