The DeWitt County Zoning Board of Appeals voted to recommend the DeWitt County Board reject the proposal of Tradewind Energy's Alta Farms II Wind Project in the northwest corner of DeWitt County at a special meeting of the ZBA at Clinton High School Tuesday night.
John Griffin started the meeting by motioning to recommend the project. He says the overarching theme from those in opposition was 'do the project somewhere else'.
In going through six considerations, the ZBA discussed back and forth many concerns. They went back and forth on the turbines impact to the radar when storms roll. Mark Sterr is convinced there is a concern to public safety and David Waters also discussed his concerns.
Waters additionally addressed the flicker effect for non-participating landowners. He recommends having non-participating landowners having zero impact from flicker effect, as opposed to the roughly ten hours per year they could be impacted.
After every consideration had been discussed, Griffin pointed to the pipeline project and the Highline project that is in the construction phase now that runs through central Illinois and DeWitt County. He explains no issues have arisen from that and there were no issues with things like tiling and drainage. Waters points out he sees the impacts of the Highline project almost daily, especially when trucks are taking equipment to and from their sites. Chair of the ZBA, Andy Hendricks says there was a difference between that project and the proposal of the wind farm.
The Board voted 5-1 to recommend the DeWitt County Board reject the proposal by Tradewind Energy.
After the meeting, Andrea Rhoades says Residents Against Wind Turbines in DeWitt County were pleased with the ruling and feel this should be an easy decision for the County Board following the ZBA and Regional Planning Commission's recommendations.
Tom Swierczewski with Tradewind Energy thanked the ZBA for their many hours of work but was ultimately disappointed with the recommendation.
Swierczewski had hoped they could have provided input when it came to some of the concerns that were addressed but did call some of them valid concerns.
DeWitt County Zoning Administrator Angie Sarver says to anticipate the DeWitt County Board to take up the issue in April after they get a chance to review all the testimony. Board Chair David Newberg has indicated to Regional Radio News the Board will likely set a special meeting date for the vote on the application.