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Libertyville wind turbine ruling expected July 21  

Credit:  By Beth Kramer, Lake County News-Sun, newssun.suntimes.com 8 July 2011 ~~

It grinds, whirls, whomps and impedes daily life.

At least, that’s what six people seeking to remove a wind turbine allege in a lawsuit against the village of Libertyville and Aldridge Electric.

Richard Porter, who represents the six homeowners, was in Lake County Circuit Court on Thursday before Associate Judge Mitchell Hoffman asking him to void Libertyville’s ordinances allowing the turbine to be built and to have the wind turbine removed.

“I’ve been involved in many wind farm cases. I stood in front of this turbine and it was louder than any wind farm,” Porter said. “It’s highly unusual to have a turbine so close to your home.”

The plaintiffs, who formed a group called Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville, said the wind turbine was built within 250 feet of residential property lines.

Porter filed a motion for summary judgement to remove the turbine, which was argued in court Thursday.

Hoffman deferred making a ruling until July 21.

“I will take the matter under advisement,” the judge said.

If he grants Porter’s request, the wind turbine in the Copeland Manor neighborhood will have to be removed immediately. If not, Porter said the lawsuit regarding nuisance action is still pending.

“I’m glad Judge Hoffman is taking his time to make a good decision. He seems very sharp,” said David Gates, spokesman for Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville.

He was among the six plaintiffs who previously testified about the extreme noise, loss of sleep and distraction they suffer.

Hoffman previously granted a preliminary injunction that allowed the wind turbine to only run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

However, the turbine still causes problems for residents like Laurie Renz.

“Most of us are home during the day. That’s just the kind of neighborhood it is,” Renz said. “One of the plaintiffs is blind, 82 and is trying to live independently. She relies on hearing … and it (the wind turbine) threatens her independence.”

Aldridge Electric installed a 140-foot, 50-kilowatt wind turbine in 2009 as a demonstration project.

“(The noise) makes it impossible to play in the driveway with my grandchildren. It’s like trying to function with a helicopter overhead,” said Donna Gates, 63.

Source:  By Beth Kramer, Lake County News-Sun, newssun.suntimes.com 8 July 2011

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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