August 14, 2013

Iroquois County wind farm, floodplain hearing Aug. 27

The Daily Journal staff reports | August 14, 2013 |

Changes in floodplain and wind farm ordinances in Iroquois County will be the subjects of public hearings before the Zoning Board of Appeals beginning at 7 p.m., Aug. 27 at the county board meeting room of the Clifford Bury Administrative Building, 1001 E. Grant St., Watseka.

The floodplain ordinance changes will be considered first because they are expected to take less time, said Debbie Wright, planning and zoning department assistant.

The wild farm ordinance proposals, which include increasing the distance a turbine must be from neighboring buildings to 2,500 feet, are expected to be more controversial. The distance now is 1,500 feet. The proposed changes were advanced in an 11-5 vote of the county board last month, with the opponent Dale Schultz, of Clifton, stating that some of the changes “seem clearly intended to deter wind farms from developing in Iroquois County.”

The Zoning Board of Appeals will hear public comments on the proposals and send the issues and its recommendations back to the county board.

A state fire marshal’s recommendation that new one- and two-family homes be equipped with fire-safety sprinkler systems in the future, and apartment complexes be retrofitted with them, was opposed by vote of the county board, even though the fire marshal apparently has already withdrawn the recommendations.

The regulation would have impacted “the cost of housing and the ability of communities to grow,” board member Marvin Stichnoth, of Stockland, said in making the planning and zoning committee report.

The seven-member committee had unanimously approved a motion by member Scott Watts, of Watseka, and Daniel Rayman, of Clifton, to oppose the regulations.

“I believe it was withdrawn by the state fire marshal, but I think we still should go on record in opposition,” said board Chairman Rod Copas, of Onarga. “I think they estimate the cost at about $10,000 per house.”

URL to article: