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Hearing scheduled on county wind turbine regulations

People will have another chance to speak out on proposed changes to Sangamon County’s wind turbine regulations during a public hearing Aug. 6.

County officials have been examining the county’s wind turbine rules since the beginning of the year.

The current rules allow a large wind turbine to be built within 1,000 feet of a house. During previous hearings, some commenters have said 1,000 feet is too close.

The new proposal would have the same 1,000-foot limit for wind turbines 400 feet or less in height. For wind turbines over 400 feet, the new rule would require that the setback from a house be increased in proportion to the height of the turbine.

County board member Tim Moore said the new proposal is designed to accommodate newer towers.

“When we wrote (the original ordinance), the standard tower that was going up was between 250 and 350 feet. Now, the standard tower is about 400 to 500 feet. So, rather than trying to keep adjusting the setback number, we took the number that was the tallest when we wrote the ordinance, and then did a multiplier from there on,” Moore said

The public hearing before the Sangamon County Zoning Board of Appeals will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 6 in the county board chamber, which is on the second floor of the Sangamon County Building at Ninth and Monroe streets.

If all goes as planned, Sangamon County Board members could vote on a proposal at their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 14. That meeting will also be in the county board chamber.