During the Lame Duck session of the General Assembly in January, majority party lawmakers approved legislation that removes local control over setback requirements for wind and solar devices. As rural counties respond to new state regulations, many are wondering how they can challenge a law they believe will negatively affect property values and the quality of life for citizens in many parts of the state.
Specifically, the law allows a wind tower to be located as close as 1.1 times the maximum blade tip height to a property line. State Senator Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) feels that is way too close, and in response to local pushback against Public Act 102-1123, he has issued the following statement:
“I stand with the counties that want to fight this new law. The new regulations would allow a wind tower to be built as close as 200 feet from a property line, which is outrageous. Even for the larger blades, we’re talking an approximate setback distance of a football field. If it’s OK for these gigantic wind towers to be built this close to property lines, perhaps the Democrats who approved this law would like to have one right next to their own houses.
“This is yet another bad law passed by Democrats with zero Republican support. Without even a shred of concern for those living in rural parts of the state, they stripped counties of local control and pushed their agenda at the expense of people’s property values and quality of life.
“These are massive structures, and rural counties have done a good job of balancing the need for clean energy with quality of life issues for the citizens they serve. But Chicago and suburban Democrats are again deciding they know what is best for those who live outside of Cook and the Collar Counties. They have stripped away local control, and now there is little that can be done to stop these enormous structures from being built, and little opportunity for proper oversight.”