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One more chance to speak on wind rules

DIXON – Speak or forever hold your peace – at least on Lee County’s wind energy rules.

Anyone wanting to address the County Board on the proposed regulations has one chance to do so – Tuesday morning.

The proposed ordinance on wind energy keeps the same required distance between homes and wind turbines – 1,400 feet. Unlike the current ordinance, the new one includes regulations for shadow flicker and a program to protect the values of nearby homes.

On Tuesday, the County Board will be officially presented with the proposed ordinance. As is required, the ordinance will be laid over for a month. The board is expected to vote on it April 17.

Several people have asked to be placed on the County Board’s agenda for Tuesday to speak about the proposed wind farm ordinance. They are opposed to it.

Others also can speak during the public input portion of the meeting.

At the April 17 meeting, people won’t have a chance to comment before the vote. Unlike most public bodies, the board takes public comments at the end of its meetings – after all the decisions have been made.

On Wednesday, State’s Attorney Henry Dixon told the board’s Executive Committee that he understood that someone from Hamilton Township planned to file an objection to the proposed ordinance.

If the board gets that protest, passage of the ordinance would require the votes of three-fourths of the members, Dixon said. Without the objection, only a simple majority would be required.

If the board doesn’t pass the ordinance, the existing one would remain in effect, Dixon said.

The Zoning Board of Appeals drafted the proposed ordinance, a process that took 8 months, ending in February. Its meetings sometimes attracted more than 80 people.

Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power is planning a three-county wind farm that would include Hamilton Township, whose board has enacted a comprehensive plan that recommends against wind turbines.

To attend

The Lee County Board will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday on the third floor of the Old Lee County Courthouse, 112 E. Second St. in Dixon.

The board is expected to hear public comment on a proposed wind energy ordinance.

For an agenda for this meeting, minutes from past meetings, or more information, go to www.countyoflee.org or call 815-288-5676.