MORRISON – The Deer Grove village board says Whiteside County overstepped its bounds.
Last month, the County Board approved nine turbines for a wind farm in the southeastern part of the county. Two of them are within the 1.5-mile buffer zone around the village, population 48.
County officials stressed that although the board approved the two turbines, the company must get the nod from Deer Grove.
Monday, the Deer Grove board voted 4-0 for a resolution urging the county to rescind its approvals of the two turbines. The village cited its authority under state law.
The village, the resolution said, has no desire to give up its regulatory powers.
Al Thompson, the village president, presented the resolution at the County Board’s monthly meeting Tuesday.
Months ago, Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power, which is planning a three-county wind farm, submitted its application for all nine turbines to the county.
When that happened, Thompson said, “the county should have come to us first.”
He said the county has told Deer Grove many different things over the last 2 years about the wind farm, so the village sought to go on record with its position, he said.
“We don’t want to take any chances,” he said.
Last year, the village enacted an ordinance that bars wind turbines more than 60 feet high within the village and the surrounding 1.5-mile area – in other words, industrial-type turbines.
Mainstream, however, maintains that the ordinance is an effective ban on turbines and that the village isn’t allowed to entirely prohibit a property use.
Thompson said Mainstream hasn’t sought a permit or variance for its turbines. But he said Mainstream’s John Martin has met with the village board at its last two meetings.
Thompson got no response from county officials at Tuesday’s meeting.
Mainstream has also submitted applications for turbines in Lee and Bureau counties, which are still holding hearings.
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