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Ruling on Libertyville turbine is delayed

The fight waged by Libertyville residents who want a 120-foot-tall wind turbine taken down will continue after a judge said Thursday that he wants more time to deliberate the residents’ complaint.

A group of neighbors, known as the Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville, filed the lawsuit in 2009, saying the village’s current wind turbine ordinance was not written properly and that Aldridge Electric should reapply for a special-use permit to continue to run its turbine.

A member of the group, Dave Gates, said he looks at the delay as a good thing. “I’m glad the judge is considering this. I’m encouraged he’s going to take his time,” Gates said.

Laurie Renz’s home is next to the turbine.

“You can never get used to it,” she said. “The sounds, the flicker – it’s always changing. You can’t ignore it and you can’t get used to it.”

Lake County Judge Mitchell L. Hoffman set a date for a ruling on the case for July 21, saying he wanted more time to consider arguments posed by the group’s attorney, Richard Porter, and three attorneys representing the village at a summary judgment hearing.

Libertyville attorneys told Hoffman on Thursday that the village followed municipal code and abided by state statutes when officials issued a permit to Aldridge to install its turbine. They also said Thursday that the village didn’t need to hold any additional hearings than the ones held at plan commission and Village Board meetings, because Aldridge wanted to install a single turbine, not a wind farm.

Hoffman pressed village attorneys, saying that the turbine plan that was approved in February was different from what was discussed at previous meetings.

“An amended site plan says there was something different about it. If you’re moving it to someone’s home, they might want to have some input on it,” Hoffman said.