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Wind farm exemptions to be codified  

Credit:  By NICK VLAHOS of the Journal Star, www.pjstar.com 22 March 2012 ~~

EUREKA – Repeatedly, the developers of the Minonk wind farm have been told revised Woodford County zoning ordinances won’t apply to their project. It appears they’re taking a trust-but-verify approach.

The Woodford County Board conservation, planning and zoning committee is to hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday to codify Minonk Wind LLC’s exemption from revisions the board enacted last month.

During its regular meeting Thursday night, the full board was expected to vote on a resolution that affirmed the exemption. Various County Board members have stated the Minonk project, which their group approved in 2010, would not be subject to ordinance revisions that govern shadows cast by wind-turbine blades and the distance turbines need to be from residences that aren’t part of the wind farm.

But State’s Attorney Greg Minger said the developers’ lawyers preferred something with more legal heft.

“The investors want to have some reassurance before they put more money into the project,” he said.

The zoning ordinance likely will include much of the wording in the resolution, Minger said.

The Woodford County Zoning Board of Appeals and the County Board will need to approve the ordinance additions. The committee meeting is scheduled for one day after the zoning board’s March meeting. That board isn’t to meet again until April 24, when construction at Minonk is expected to be in full swing.

The County Board might not receive the revisions until May, but Minger said expedition is possible.

“If there’s a way to do it before then, we’ll try to do that,” he said.

Duane Enger, the Minonk project manager, said this was a case of dotting i’s and crossing t’s.

“It’s not a big deal,” he said. “The county through this entire process said, ‘This isn’t going to affect Minonk.’ As we get further and further away from the county, (we) want to see it in writing in the appropriate spot, and the appropriate spot for it is in the amendment which was passed.”

The project is located east-southeast of Minonk. Woodford County is to play host to 75 turbines; 25 are set for Livingston County.

The County Board usually meets on the third Tuesday of the month. This meeting was rescheduled because of the primary election held Tuesday.

Source:  By NICK VLAHOS of the Journal Star, www.pjstar.com 22 March 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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