Legislation moved through an Illinois Senate Committee Thursday that would allow communities to restrict wind energy development within 1.5 miles of town without a zoning ordinance.
Senate Bill 167 passed on a 6-2 vote in the Local Government Committee.
Current law approved in 2007 allows communities to ban development in its “zoning jurisdiction,” though there are conflicting opinions on what constitutes a zoning jurisdiction.
Golden village trustees approved a 1.5-mile wind buffer in December even though it did not have a zoning ordinance. Clayton, which does have a zoning ordinance, approved restrictions in January.
Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, who introduced the legislation, said he was contacted by Golden officials about changing the law.
The Illinois Wind Energy Association expressed concerns over the legislation, with Executive Director Kevin Borgia saying it would allow towns to control land outside of their boundaries even though communities chose to not control land within their boundaries.
An amendment to the legislation was approved that allows wind turbines to move forward if they have received approval at the county level prior to the enactment of the legislation.