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In Piatt County, wind farm rules discussions delayed  

Credit:  By Kevin Barlow | The News-Gazette | www.news-gazette.com ~~

MONTICELLO – The Piatt County Zoning Board of Appeals will wait until late October before considering a set of rules and procedures for the upcoming public hearings on the proposed Goose Creek Wind Farm.

“These are not ready yet,” board Chairman Loyd Wax said at the group’s last meeting. “They haven’t been finished. They are not ready. We don’t have them in hand for you to look at, so in my opinion, the only thing we can do is to get a motion to table this and consider this at our next scheduled zoning meeting.”

The next scheduled meeting is Oct. 27.

It’s a setback for Apex Energy, which has proposed a revenue-sharing agreement with the county if the project and building permits are approved by Dec. 31.

Prior to consideration by the county board, the 1,600-page special-use permit application must be considered by the zoning board of appeals. This will be done through a series of public hearings, during which both officials from Apex and opponents of the project will provide input.

The zoning board will then make a recommendation to the county board.

With the delay in approval of the rules and procedures, it is not known when the public hearings will be scheduled.

If the zoning board waits until Oct. 27 to grant approvals, hearings wouldn’t be scheduled until November at the earliest.

Apex Energy is seeking approval for up to 60 wind turbine sites in the northern portion of Piatt County. Of the approved locations, 50 total turbines would be constructed.

Kelly Vetter of Monticello asked the board during the public comment session to carefully consider the evidence once the hearings are held.

“Maybe no one is really paying attention, but do you realize that by weakening our ordinances to accommodate the wind corporation, there will be a floodgate open to the opportunists who will insist that you let them in because you let Apex in?” she said. “Already, there are wind companies waiting to see how it goes, so they can blast the countryside with these lumbering, ugly giants.”

Jim Reed, a farmer from DeLand, asked the board to take a step back as a county, look at the prime farm ground and decide what an appropriate productivity index would be, to help evaluate decisions for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.

Source:  By Kevin Barlow | The News-Gazette | www.news-gazette.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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