Morgan County Second in Area to Oppose Wind Farm Legislation

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 17, 2021 at 10:59am

Morgan County is now the second in the area to push back against proposed state legislation that would take the regulation of wind farms out of the hands of local authorities.

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution during their regular meeting this morning calling for Governor J.B. Pritzker and the General Assembly to protect local control of zoning and land use.

Senate Bill 1602 would remove a county board’s ability to create their own ordinances concerning wind farms, and any county that has a zoning ordinance for the facilities would have to be in compliance with a statewide statute within 30 days of the bill’s passage. The state zoning ordinance would control all setback requirements, blade tip height limitations, and sound limitations. It would limit all home rule powers.

Morgan County Commissioner Chair Ginny Fanning says, the measure falls short of existing regulations already put in place in Morgan County.

We approved a resolution to have Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly reconsider this idea of changing the zoning and land use. We have had this for several weeks and have looked it over carefully and we feel that it is perhaps not as restrictive as the one we have currently in place.

We took quite a long time to prepare our local ordinance and feel like it’s a good document, and this new Senate Bill would supersede that. We feel that it is not in the best interest of our citizens of Morgan County.”

The Scott County Commissioners passed a similar resolution on May 3rd expressing their opposition to the measure. Scott County Commissioner Bob Schafer said that the powers for all zoning should always remain in governments closest to the people.

Filed by 18th District State Senator Bill Cunningham of Chicago in February, Senate Bill 1602 has remained in the Senate Assignments committee since February 26th and has not moved. There is no indication that the bill will be moving out of committee in the near future.