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Will Bureau County Board protect us?

Published: Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 3:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 3:07 p.m. CDT

Some 79 Greenville Township homeowners are concerned as to whether or not the Bureau County Board will enforce the existing county ordinances designed to protect their homes.

The purpose of the existing Bureau County ordinances on the minimum setback distances of wind turbines from private homes, neighboring property lines and unincorporated and incorporated platted communities was to protect homeowners from the negative effects of these wind turbines. In a citizens’ petition submitted to both the Bureau County Zoning Board of Appeal and the Bureau County Board, these homeowners asked the county to enforce its own existing ordinances on the minimum setback distances and protect area homeowners. Why pass ordinances to protect homeowners and citizens if you do not plan to enforce them? In an election year, it is surprising the area elected officials are hesitating to support the area homeowners requests on this issue. The Greenville Township Board already voted to enforce these existing ordinances on the minimum setback distances. We are now waiting to hear from the county board on the matter.

The concerns of these area homeowners results from the Green River Wind Farm’s request to the county board for variances (waivers) to these minimum setback distances of wind turbines from private homes, neighboring property lines and unincorporated and incorporated communities. In other words, the Green River Wind Farm wants to build 10 of its wind turbines closer to area private homes than the existing ordinances allow. These homeowners recognize the environmental benefits from wind generated electricity. But the real question is: With all of the thousands of acres in Bureau County, why does the Green River Wind Farm have to build 10 wind turbines up close to private homes?

The bottom line is in America we elect public officials to protect the citizens’ rights and support the citizens’ requests. Then why are our local elected officials hesitating from enforcing the very ordinances they passed to protect local citizens’ rights and homes?   

Dr. Paul F. Gerbers

Walnut

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