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Wind farm facilities may be approved as a special use (See § 155-16.40) in the A-1 zoning district, subject to compliance with the following information.
(A) Minimum lot area. The minimum lot area requirement for a wind farm is 1,000 acres, which may include rented, owned, or leased property.
(B) Maximum height. Electric-generating wind devices may not exceed 500 feet in height, measured to the blade tip of the rotor at its highest point.
(C) Minimum setbacks.
(1) Electric-generating wind devices must be set back from all property lines a distance of at least 125% of the device height.
(2) No portion of a wind farm may be located within 1,320 feet of any R-zoned property or residential dwelling unit in existence at the time of the special use permit application for the wind farm is filed.
(3) Each electric-generating wind device must be set back from above-ground public electric power lines, telephone lines, and cable television lines a distance of 125% of the device height.
(D) Ground clearance. The blade tip of any rotor must, at its lowest point, have ground clearance of at least 75 feet.
(E) General regulations.
(1) All climbing apparatus must be located at least 15 feet above the ground, and the tower must be designed to prevent climbing within the first 15 feet above the ground or base.
(2) Electric-generating wind device rotors, towers and turbines must be painted a non-reflective, non-obtrusive color.
(3) The design of all buildings and related structures must, to the extent reasonably possible, use materials, colors, textures, screening and landscaping that reflects the natural setting and the existing environment.
(4) Wind farm facilities may not be artificially illuminated, except to the extent required by the FAA or other applicable authority.
(5) Wind turbines may not be used for displaying and advertising except for reasonable identification of the manufacture or operator of the wind farm facility.
(6) Electrical controls and control wiring and power-lines must be wireless or not above-ground except where wind farm facility wiring is brought together for connection to the transmission or distribution network, adjacent to that network.
(7) All access doors and gates to wind turbine towers and electrical equipment must be lockable.
(8) Each electric-generating wind device tower must be marked with a visible identification number to assist with provision of emergency services, and the permitee must file with the appropriate local fire protection district and sheriff's police, a wind farm facility map identifying wind turbine locations and numbers.
(9) Warning signs concerning voltage must be posted on the base of each tower, electrical equipment, and at the entrance to any wind farm facility site.
(10) The permitee must ensure that, following completion of construction of a wind farm, all county, township and state roads will be repaired or restored to a condition at least equal to the condition prior to construction of such facility, as inspected and approved by the respective highway authority.
(11) The permitee must promptly replace or repair all fences or gates removed or damaged during all phases of the wind farm's life, unless otherwise negotiated with the affected landowner.
(F) Application requirements. The following items must be submitted with the special use permit application:
(1) Site plan showing the following:
(a) Survey of property or properties included in the proposal.
(b) Include distance to nearest residential dwelling.
(c) Setback regulations of the zoning district.
(d) Setback regulations for each electric-generating wind device tower.
(e) Any floodplain or wetland on the property.
(f) Any existing or proposed roads.
(g) Location, height and dimensions of all existing and proposed structures and fencing.
(h) Any easements or above-ground utilities on the property.
(i) Surrounding zoning and uses within 1,320 feet of the property.
(2) A project proposal that includes the following:
(a) Name, company, address and phone of the owner, developer or any other interested party.
(b) Project summary including the nameplate generating capacity; equipment manufacturer; type of electric-generating wind device and number of electric-generating wind device; the nameplate generation for each electric-generating wind device.
(c) Maximum height for each electric-generating wind device.
(d) Evidence that the site is feasible for a wind farm facility.
(3) An avian habitat study completed by an ornithologist or wildlife biologist.
(4) Proof of compliance with noise regulations of the Illinois Pollution Control Board.
(5) Determination by the Federal Aviation Administration that the proposed structures do not interfere with or present a hazard to any public or private aircraft.
(6) A reclamation plan to remove any inoperable electric-generating wind device and to restore the site if the project ceases operations or does not produce any electricity during any 18-month period.
(G) Signal interference. The permitee must minimize or mitigate any interference with electromagnetic communications, such as radio, telephone or television signals caused by any wind farm.
(H) Restoration of property. Within 180 days of termination or abandonment of leases or easements for a wind farm facility, the current permitee must cause, at their own expense, removal of all structures to a depth of four feet below pre-construction grade.
(I) Test wind towers.
(1) For the purpose of gathering information, wind generation test wind towers may be erected without obtaining a special use permit.
(2) Test wind towers may not exceed 500 feet in height, as measured to the tip of the rotor in its highest position.
(3) Test wind towers must be dismantled within three years of installation.
(4) Test wind towers must be set back from all property lines a distance that is equivalent to 125% of the test wind tower height.
(5) Building permit applications for test wind towers must be accompanied by standard drawings of the structure, including the tower, base and footings. An engineering analysis of the tower showing compliance with the adopted county building codes and certified by an Illinois licensed professional structural engineer must be submitted. A valid first generation seal is required.
(Ord. effective 10-1-2012)