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Woodford zoning board approves wind-energy changes

EUREKA – Revisions to the Woodford County ordinance that regulates wind-energy systems are one step closer to reality.

During a meeting Tuesday night that lasted almost four hours, the Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals approved changes that had been months in the making.

The changes don’t take effect unless the Woodford County Board approves. The board is likely to consider the revised ordinance at its February meeting.

The major changes include how far wind-energy towers need to be located from residences that aren’t part of the wind farm. That would increase from 750 feet to four times the tower height. Shadow flicker, in which rotating wind-turbine blades cast shadows upon stationary objects, would be limited to 30 hours per calendar year.

Fees and procedures for decommissioning wind farms also were revised.

The County Board’s conservation, planning and zoning committee proposed the revisions. None of them affect Minonk Wind LLC, the first wind farm in the county, which is set to begin construction in April.

The zoning board also approved special-use permits for three meterological towers on the Minonk Wind LLC property. Again, the County Board also must approve.