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A clarification on permit rules

There seems to be a need for some clarification on the zoning process involved when residents of Bureau County are interested in applying for a permit in order to build a home. Barb Armrein’s (Sept. 21) letter suggests a misunderstanding of a few steps involved in the process.

In November 2011, the Bureau County zoning ordinance was amended, and the zoning regulations were changed. Today, if residents are interested in applying for a zoning permit, there is no longer a reciprocal zoning setback requirement. This means that if applicants have met all the basic requirements for building a new home (an approved entrance, well and septic system, adequate distances from the property lines, etc.), then the applicant will be approved for a permit.

Wind farms have no part in the approval process. Homeowners and wind farm owners are only asked to sign a letter acknowledging that the home is being built within the vicinity of a wind farm. Wind farm owners cannot stop a permit from being approved if the home meets the current zoning requirements.

If potential home builders would like to learn more about the zoning process, rules and regulations, they can either contact the zoning administrator directly or go down to the office at the Bureau County Courthouse, 700 S. Main Street, Princeton.

In the end, owners, operators, workers, ranchers and farmers supporting local wind power production are also typically residents of Bureau County and have all the same interests in protecting American property rights as anyone else. Their interests lie in wanting to provide Illinois residents with clean power while also supporting new investment in the economy and adding thousands of new jobs to Illinois.

John Anderson, director of siting policy, American Wind Energy Association

Washington, D.C.

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