ROBERTS – A public forum could be scheduled in August to gauge the public’s interest in banning wind farms within a buffer zone around the village of Roberts.
But Roberts officials won’t be able to take any action until the village first creates its own planning commission and zoning board of appeals.
Ford County Zoning Officer Larry Knilands said only those municipalities that have their own planning commission and ZBA have the authority to set zoning restrictions – including restrictions against wind farms – within an area of up to 1 1/2 miles of their corporate limits.
In Ford County, only Paxton, Gibson City and Piper City have such authority. And so far, Paxton is the only Ford County city to adopt a wind farm buffer zone.
But Roberts officials might soon consider adopting their own restrictions, if that is what the citizens want, Mayor Rick Flessner said.
“I think what we’re considering doing is having a public forum, so we can hear both sides of the issues and then try and make a decision based on citizens’ input,” Flessner said.
After hearing a presentation earlier in July about the negative effects of wind farms, Flessner said he has not made up his mind on what direction he wants his village to take.