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Ogle County Board rejects wind farm ordinance amendments

Ogle County Board members reject proposed amendments to wind farm standards that took nearly two years to make.

The goal of those amendments was to give one set of rules for every wind farm developer to follow. The board’s rejection of those standards brings the county’s debate over wind farms back to square one.

“I’m kind of undecided,” said Ogle County resident Michael Dickinson when asked about his reaction to the board’s vote. “I don’t know how it’s going to go.”

Fellow resident Dick Gambrel feels the vote accomplished very little.

“It doesn’t solve any problems,” he said. “We’ll fight the same problems over and over and over again.”

People in Ogle County have mixed reactions to the board’s 11-11 decision to reject wind farm amendments. 18 votes were needed. Developers looking to put windmills in the county will once again have to file an application with the Planning and Zoning Committee.

“Each project will be evaluated on it’s merits or demerits and conditions specific to each individual application will be developed,” Michael Reibel Ogle County Planning and Zoning Administrator.

Each project will have public meetings. Some board members don’t agree with setting wind farm standards on a case by case.

“I just don’t think it’s appropriate for us to have just a wide open, free-wheeling process,” said Kim Gouker District 3 Ogle County Board Member.

Others argue this allows residents to have their say about windmill regulations in their area.

“That doesn’t mean that we won’t have windmills or that we will have windmills,” said District 2 Ogle County Board Member Bobbie Colbert. “They still will have a choice and we can go through the process.”

Ogle County resident Michael Dickinson want’s all windmills in his area to be placed 1 and a half miles away from homes. He and other residents are willing to go to court about it, if necessary.

“Well depending on what the county board does, I guess we will do whatever we need to do to legally and I can’t tell you what that is until I talk to our lawyer,” said Dickinson.

Ogle County ends it’s ban on wind farm construction on February 29th. There was a motion to extend it until December 31st, but that also failed with an split 11-11 vote.