Residents Battle With Village Over Wind Turbine

Residents have compared the sound the turbine makes to that of a semi-truck

By Dominic Trombino
|  Wednesday, Jul 6, 2011  |  Updated 8:56 PM CDT
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Some Libertyville residents are asking that a Lake County judge decide whether village officials acted within the law when they issued a permit to build a 120-foot wind turbine in their neighborhood.

Some Libertyville residents are asking that a Lake County judge decide whether village officials acted within the law when they issued a permit to build a 120-foot wind turbine in their neighborhood.

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A Lake County judge will decide at a court hearing on Thursday whether Libertyville officials lawfully issued a permit for the construction of a 120-foot , noise-making wind turbine.

The village of Libertyville has been engaged in a  two-year legal battle with the Citizens for Protection of Libertyville group, who claim that the large turbine, built in close proximity to nearby homes, was constructed without public approval or notification. 

“It’s enough to keep people up at night,” said David Gates, a Libertyville resident affected by the noise.

The group wants Judge Mitchell Hoffman to rule that the current wind turbine ordinance for the village is improperly written, and that Aldridge Electric, owners of the structure, should have to reapply for a special use permit to continue to operate the turbine.

The turbine currently operates only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. after complaints from residents.

Aldrige Electric CEO Ken Aldridge says the company has no plans to take down the turbine, and that they will continue to fight to keep it to promote renewable energy.

According to the lawsuit, the village did not notify residents, nor was a public hearing held between a late 2008 plan commission meeting and a Village Board meeting in early 2009 when trustees unanimously approved Aldridge's plan to build the turbine.

"When it’s designed to be as quiet as they claim they are and when they actually make electricity like they claim they do, we’ll all be very happy," said Gates.

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