DANVILLE – For a third time, a majority of Vermilion County board members failed to show up for the meeting of an ad hoc committee that’s considering changes to the county’s wind-farm ordinance.
In response to several residents who have been lobbying for years for more changes to the wind ordinance, 14 board members voted this summer to form an ad hoc committee to consider changes. Those 14 were then assigned to the panel along with members of the public.
The committee has met five times since then but has failed to have a quorum for three of its meetings, including Thursday, when its work was supposed to be finalized.
“I would say it borders on a travesty,” said Lynn McLinden of Danville, one of the public members of the panel, which has continued its work without the board members.
Five of the 14 board members were there Thursday along with several members of the public, and the small group moved forward with presenting specific proposals for ordinance changes.
The panel is working on several proposed changes, including:
— Requiring a wind-farm developer to post a significant amount of cash prior to breaking ground to ensure there’s money to dismantle the turbines if they cease to operate in the future.
— Providing property owners who live near turbines relief if the value of their property falls.
— Requiring devices to monitor shadow flicker caused by turbines and creating limits on the amount of flicker allowed on nearby properties.
— Increasing the county’s current 1,200-foot setback – the minimum distance a turbine can be from a primary structure on the property of landowners who don’t lease to the wind farm.
The committee will meet a final time in January to finalize proposals before taking them to the county board for possible action.
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