February 23, 2012
Illinois, Letters

Outdated wind turbine setbacks need lengthening

www.saukvalley.com 23 February 2012

The zoning powers and responsibilities of the Lee County Board are clearly articulated in the first two sentences of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (Division 5-12/ Zoning): “Authority to regulate” zoning, “for the purpose of promoting public health, comfort and general welfare, and conserving the values of property throughout the county.”

The Lee County Zoning Board is directed to exercise zoning powers and adhere to the Illinois statutes controlling them. Yet, at its Jan. 20 meeting, the board blatantly ignored its statutory responsibilities by recommending that the current 12-year-old, 1,400-foot setback distance between homes and wind turbines remain unchanged. They took this egregious action, fully knowledgeable that this “dinosaur” setback was designed to protect homeowners against noise disturbances from turbines no taller than 200 feet.

Given the fact that today’s turbines are 450 to 500 feet tall, this recommendation was heartless, and it was made with absolutely no consideration or compassion for the harmful health effects that today’s huge wind turbines would wreak upon Franklin Grove, Ashton and Hamilton Township families, if two planned wind farms, containing 150 and 191 turbines each, surround them.

With turbines 1,400 feet from residences, many of our neighbors in those locales would suffer immeasurably from turbine-caused illnesses (example: “Family abandons home located 3,200 feet from 495-foot-tall turbines”; visit www.nationalreview.com/articles/289920/wind-energy-noise-pollution-robert-bryce).

Where’s the common sense here? Will our citizen-uncompassionate ZBA members deny they were taught mathematical proportions in grade school?

I encourage county board members and caring citizens from throughout our beautiful (but wind-farm-endangered) county to come to our zoning board’s meeting at 7 p.m. tonight.

Board members must be told to stop coddling the wind-energy companies and, instead, to drastically lengthen their ill-conceived 1,400-foot setback distance to “first, do no harm” to Lee County families.

Jim Timble, Franklin Grove

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/23/outdated-wind-turbine-setbacks-need-lengthening/