Local News

Woodford County Board decides to put a halt to solar development near Eureka

WOODFORD COUNTY, Ill. - Woodford County leaders are sending a controversial solar farm plan back to the zoning board. 

Sol America Energy is proposing a 51-acre solar farm on land near a eureka neighborhood. That plan got the green light from the zoning board, however, during Tuesday's meeting, Eureka residents spoke out against it.

Mayor of Eureka, Scott Zimmer, told WMBD last month it's ridiculous to consider building the farm near the fastest growing neighborhood in eureka. 

In a 9-4 decision the County Board decided to send the proposal back to the Zoning Board of Appeals, because they say they don't have the power to vote against it. 

In fact, they say they only had two options, either approve it or send it back and they chose the latter.

Terra Brockman is a longtime resident of Eureka and is in favor of the solar farms. She says since the Zoning Board has their own research team who weighed out pros and cons and still determined to go ahead and propose the idea, its disrespectful for the County Board to send it back.

"It's a difficult situation," Brockman said. "But it's really bad when your own County Board is disrespecting your own county's zoning official body. "I think that's a sad state of affairs and not very professional on the part of a county board."

Jim Maccari, also a long time resident, lives on the street where the farms would be developed. He says he is adamantly against the panels but he would have liked to see a more definitive decision made.

"Sending it back to the Zoning Board of Appeals didn't necessarily surprise us (those against)," he said. "I wouldn't say it made us happy, we were a little disappointed cause we were expecting it to be turned down completely."

It's not known when the zoning board will look over the county's decision but objectors and supporters will be allowed to express their opinions to the zoning board when they do so.


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