Village trustees deferred making a motion on a proposed text amendment that would regulate wind turbines.
Residents who live near a wind turbine in Libertyville had hoped to hear an outcome Tuesday when the Village Board was set to act on a proposed change to an ordinance regulating wind turbines.
They were, however, disappointed. Village trustees approved deferring the issue to a future Committee of the Whole meeting so they could discuss the issue further. The delay should not have any major impact because the village has a six-month moratorium on the construction, installation and operation of wind turbines that expires March 2012.
In July, a Lake County court denied residents’ request for Aldridge Electric to remove its wind turbine. So now, residents like Gary Newell, who live near the wind turbine, want the village to approve the text amendment proposed by the Plan Commission.
The wind turbine “was an inferior piece of equipment with an inferior ordinance,” said Newell, who lives near the wind turbine on Aldridge Electric Inc., 844 E. Rockland Road. “The Plan Commission has tightened up (the ordinance) to the point where if you are going to do it, you need to do it right, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Mayor Doesn’t Want Ordinance to Prohibit Wind Turbines
Newell is part of Citizens for the Protection of Libertyville, a group that has been fighting to regulate the wind turbine’s use. The group says shadow flickers, noise and the location of the wind turbine have affected their lives.
Mayor Terry Weppler says he recommended deferring making a motion because he would like trustees to have more time to discuss the issue.
“The Plan Commission spent eight months on this, don’t you think it deserves more than five minutes by the board?” Weppler asked during Tuesday’s Village Board meeting. “I am concerned that because of a wind turbine – while Mr. Aldridge will never admit it – that was defective from Day One, we are acting now to prohibit something that potentially could be good for the village.”
Proposed Ordinance Changes
In January, the Plan Commission started public hearings to get input on the village’s Electric Power Facilities ordinance. The hearings concluded Aug. 8, and resulted in recommendations that the ordinance be changed to include the following differences:
Special Use Permit. A special use permit be required for installation of any building-mounted wind turbine or tower-mounted wind turbine in any of the village’s zoning districts.
Sound. The maximum sound level for wind energy facilities be decreased from 60 decibels at residential property lines to 35 decibels during the hours of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and 40 decibels between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Height. Building-mounted wind turbines be allowed up to a height of 15 feet above the highest point of the building structure, but in no case would the height exceed the maximum permitted height of the principal structure. Tower-mounted wind turbines would not exceed a height of 125 feet.
Location. Tower-mounted wind turbines would be allowed only in nonresidential districts. Tower-mounted wind turbines would be prohibited from locating on any property within a nonresidential zoning district that abuts a properties zoned for residential use.
A date has not been set yet, but village trustees will discuss the text amendments at an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting.
“My personal opinion is that this ordinance in essence prohibits wind turbines,” Weppler said. “If that’s what we want to do, then that’s what we should do. But I think it’s a sham to say here’s a wind turbine ordinance.”
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