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Golden looks to set moratorium on wind energy development  

Credit:  By Matt Hopf, Herald-Whig Staff Writer, www.whig.com 8 November 2010 ~~

GOLDEN, Ill. – Golden village officials are expected to pass a moratorium this week that would ban the development of wind energy within a 1.5-mile radius as they look to enact permanent restrictions.

Officials could vote on permanent restrictions in January.

“We voted to start the legal process,” said Roger Flesner, Golden village president. “We have not actually voted on it yet.”

Trustees agreed to start the process at October’s board meeting.

Village trustees will vote on the moratorium at Wednesday’s village board meeting. Golden will host a public hearing before it can bring up such a vote as early as January. Flesner expected the public hearing within the month.

Officials are basing their right to regulate wind development within 1.5 miles of village limits on an informal opinion from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office that said it did not need to have zoning to regulate wind energy development.

“We’re going that based on the interpretation by the Attorney General’s Office that we can regulate within the mile and a half of our village limits without zoning,” he said.

Originally it was thought the village would have to enact zoning similar to Clayton and Camp Point, which could have cost the village thousands of dollars.

Flesner said he didn’t believe that Golden residents are against wind energy in general.

“I think the majority want them and would like the tax base, what it would do for the schools and whoever gets them, but they just don’t like to have them within the mile and a half,” Flesner said. “That’s really bad when we’re trying to tell the property owners outside the our village limits.

“I wish there was a middle road everyone could get on and agree with.”

Clayton has held two public hearings in recent months as the Zoning Board of Appeals is contemplating a recommendation to the village board. Proponents to wind energy development in Adams County say that it would bring additional tax revenue to schools and other local taxing bodies, and additional revenue for area farmers. Others have voiced concerns of the affects it could have in the area and the proximity of it to local communities.

Acciona Energy North America has been developing the $300 million Prairie Mills Wind Farm with Global Winds Harvest in the Camp Point, Clayton and Golden vicinity.

Source:  By Matt Hopf, Herald-Whig Staff Writer, www.whig.com 8 November 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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