By Bob Balgemann

Reporter

A proposed ordinance regulating solar farms in Boone County is being considered by the zoning board of appeals (ZBA). Once that’s done it will be heard by the planning, zoning and building committee (PZB) and then move on to the county board for final action.

That was agreed to at the Feb. 21 county board meeting, following lengthy discussion on a variety of fronts.

While there is a proposed ordinance, it has not been heard by the ZBA. Yet already there is concern in the community about the way it’s written, especially with the provision for a 250-foot setback.

After discussion of possible revisions, it was agreed to let the ZBA handle it.

The ZBA is a quasi-judicial body that takes testimony from interested parties. County State’s Attorney Tricia Smith said anyone with credible evidence may present it to the ZBA. Being cross-examined is part of the process.

ZBA has five members and makes recommendations to the county board.

This is a busy month for the ZBA and there could be as many as three public hearings, with two in March and one on April 3. The ZBA meets at 7 p.m. in the County Board Meeting Room at the Administration Building, 1212 Logan Ave.

County Administrator Ken Terrinoni was concerned about the timing, since he is “actively” negotiating a lease agreement with one of three suitors interested in developing a solar farm in the county.

“I hope to have a proposal for you for a lease-option at the next meeting,” he said. “I want to keep good-faith bargaining going that they could do this project, even if you do pursue…

For complete article, pick up the April 11 Belvidere Daily Republican.