By: Diane Benjamin
I attended the rebuttal hearing held by the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals last night. Did you know this board has ZERO elected officials, all members are appointees. County staff attends and can ask questions, but nobody is on this board that can be voted out of office.
Invenergy was there. I’m not sure the Board realized that they are paid to get favorable wind farms ordinances while the people who want ordinance changes aren’t experts at rebutting what they say.
Here’s the facts:
- the turbines east of town are 280 feet tall
- Watterson Towers is 298.5 feet tall
- the new turbines Invenergy want to put up are 485 feet tall
Let that sink in!
Last June I wrote an article that was published in the Lexingtonian newspaper and the Chenoa Town Crier, and I posted it here:
Both of these papers allow citizens to submit stories. These are hometown papers where opinions are expressed and obviously opinions are those of the writer.
On June 6th the owner of these papers was contacted by Invenergy – they threatened to sue him! The editor of both papers, Laurie Sleeter, had a gag order placed on her by her boss because of the Invenergy threats. Small town newspapers don’t have the resources to fight Invenergy.
Invenergy also filed a lawsuit against the Livingston County Board for denying a special use permit. http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2015/10/invenergy-insults-intelligence-of-livingston-county-board-in-wind-farm-appeal/
Freedom of Speech dies wherever Invenergy wants a wind farm.
If Invenergy and wind turbines are such great neighbors, why do they snuff out opposition?
Next Tuesday Livingston County has a referendum on their ballot concerning “setbacks” for turbines. The question reads: “In your township, do you support a distance of 1,600 feet between wind turbines and residences, rather than increasing that distance more than double, which may reduce the number of turbines built in your township?”
Voting NO means residents want the turbines farther away the 1,600 feet.
1,600 feet is only 3/10ths of a mile. Remember, the new turbines are 186 feet taller than Watterson Towers!
Property owners can agree to have turbines placed closer to their property if they want. For other property owners, .3 of miles isn’t nearly far enough away to protect from living next to a monstrosity! The results will be interesting.
McLean County never mounted the citizen opposition that Livingston County did. The McLean County ordinance calls for measuring from an occupied house – not the property line. That means turbine builders will be allowed to “trespass” on property right up to a house. Private property rights won’t be protected against turbine fires, blade failures, and noise here.
The Zoning Board of Appeals makes recommendations to the County Board. This elected Board is not allowed to hear testimony on topics other than what was presented at the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Note: I hope everybody realizes early voting is a scam meant to make sure voters don’t have all the information needed to make informed choices.