WATSEKA – The Iroquois County Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on March 31 to consider amending the county’s wind farm ordinance.
Iroquois County Board John Shure of rural Buckley said the board’s planning and zoning committee has discussed changes to the ordinance in recent months. The change to be considered by the zoning board relates to new setback requirements, Shure said.
If approved by the county board after the public hearing, all turbines would be required to be at least 1,000 feet from “primary structures” – homes or other structures located on land being leased to the wind farm’s operator.
Meanwhile, turbines would need to be at least 12 “rotar diameters” from the property lines – rather than structures – of “non-participating property owners” – defined as those landowners whose property is not being leased to the wind farm operator.
The only exception to the new regulations would be for turbines in Douglas Township, which has established its own setback rules separate from the county’s. In Douglas Township, all turbines must be 2,000 feet or more from any “non-participating primary structure.”
According to the proposal, landowners would be able to waive the setback requirement, but only if the tower is located no closer than 1,000 feet of a primary structure or property line.
Shure said the setback change is being proposed “mostly for clarification purposes.” Shure said the new setback rules that require turbines to be built no closer than 12 rotar diameters from the property line of non-participating property owners would ensure that the “full use” of their property would not be inhibited.
Under the current ordinance, which uses the distance turbines are from structures rather than property lines, non-participating landowners could be restricted from building barns or other structures on their land if they would be located too close to a turbine, Shure noted.
“The way the ordinance was written before, it could possibly prevent them from doing something further down the road,” Shure said.
Shure added that a number of other counties in Illinois are starting to use the distance between turbines and property lines, instead of structure locations, in determining their setback requirements.
“I think there’s a trend in that direction,” Shure said.
The zoning board’s public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 31 at the Administrative Center, 1001 E. Grant St., Watseka.
A public hearing will also be held that same day at 7:30 p.m. to consider numerous revisions to the county’s subdivision ordinance.
The county board is expected to vote on all of the proposed revisions at its next meeting, scheduled for 9 a.m. April 14 at the Administrative Center.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding