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Local

Wind ordinance drafting continues Thursday during DeKalb County committee meeting

File photo: The sun rises in the distance as wind turbines harvest air currents Jan. 11, 2017 in Waterman.
File photo: The sun rises in the distance as wind turbines harvest air currents Jan. 11, 2017 in Waterman.

SYCAMORE – A new wind ordinance could be drafted and sent to the DeKalb County public hearing officer by the end of the month if Thursday’s Planning and Zoning Committee meeting goes smoothly.

Steve Faivre, chairman for the DeKalb County Planning and Zoning Committee, said the committee plans
to get through as many points of the county wind ordinance draft as possible during its meeting 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the DeKalb County
Legislative Center Gathertorium,
200 N. Main St.

Faivre said he expects the committee to address property value guarantees, light flicker and sound ordinances for something as constantly audible as an operational wind tower during the Thursday meeting, but he’s not sure if there will be enough time to vote on setbacks.

“I would like to get through a minimum of everything except setbacks,” Faivre said.

The committee passed several motions for the wind ordinance draft during its June 27 meeting, including a 500-foot height restriction, mitigated blinking lights on the towers, full concrete foundation removal in tower decommissioning and guaranteed road maintenance coverage by the company by the end of a wind farm project.

Once the committee drafts a full ordinance, Faivre said, next steps include a public hearing, the draft going back to the committee and then to the board.

The county board passed an 18-month moratorium last year, meaning the county can’t act on any special use permit applications from companies, including EDF Renewable Energy. The moratorium is in effect until
September or until an ordinance is passed.

Commissioners are using Boone County’s existing ordinance as a skeleton for DeKalb County’s wind turbines draft, since it’s one of the more recent ordinances passed in the state. The DeKalb County ordinance might structurally look like Boone’s, but every part most likely will be reworked, Faivre has said.

Faivre said he doubts the committee will get through all of the ordinance elements on Thursday. He said he expects that it may take one more meeting into August, in addition to a possible special meeting at the beginning of August.

“The goal here is to make sure that whatever business or industry that comes into the county has a minimal impact on surrounding businesses and residences,” Faivre said.

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