EUREKA – The Woodford County Board has learned it can’t stop issuing new wind farm permits without going through the legal process.
In January, the County Board voted 10-5 to temporarily halt issuing new wind farm permits until Sept. 21, pending a decision by new State’s Attorney Greg Minger on whether the move was legal.
That action had been recommended by the comprehensive planning and zoning committee. At Tuesday’s County Board meeting, however, committee chairman Doug Huser said Minger had concluded the board could not take that action.
There was no further discussion.
The board had not turned down any wind farm permits since passing the resolution.
“There is no authority to suspend or revoke a zoning ordinance unless you go through the process to amend or repeal a zoning ordinance,” Minger told the Journal Star on Friday. “That starts with filing an application with the (Zoning Board of Appeals.)”
Minger said any new applicant for a wind farm permit will have to be informed that changes to the zoning permit are in the works.
“So instead of doing a suspension, what is required is a notice to someone who takes out a permit that changes are occurring,” Minger said.
The committee is reviewing the county’s wind farm ordinance. It meets weekly and invites public input. The next meeting is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Any subsequent action the board may take regarding that ordinance would have no bearing on the agreements with the Minonk and Roanoke wind farms.
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