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Boone County Board Votes against Wind Energy Ordinances

It was standing room only at a meeting in Belvidere where wind farm regulations were debated tonight.

BELVIDERE-
A stack of petitions against a set of zoning setback ordinances sits at this month’s Boone County Board meeting.

“There’s no evidence that says if you vote for a higher setback windmills can’t come to Boone County,” said one speaker in favor of the proposed setback ordinance.

The Boone County Administration Building was filled with people speaking for and against the proposed restriction. It called for wind turbines to be built at least 1,500 feet from property lines.

“We need economic development in every local place in this state,” argued one speaker against the proposed setback ordinance.

The problem is the size and scope of wind turbines today and their placement to property lines.

“It is some extreme setbacks that anti-wind groups have been trying to get through that would make it so wind energy could never make it to Boone County,” said Boone County Resident Deb Doetch.

Others mentioned limitations are needed to protect the safety and welfare of Boone County residents.

“The majority of the people in the county are in favor of the text amendment. We proved that by 1,325 petitions,” said Boone County Resident Julie Newhouse.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Bob Walberg even proposed a compromise, failing with a tie vote from board members.

The original ordinance ended with a tie vote as well, the motion failing. The restrictions will remain that wind turbines can be constructed 1,000 feet from a primary structure on a property if the owners choose to do so.
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