Syverson: Partisan vote strips local county control in siting energy projects

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) says Senate Democrat leaders forced through legislation Sunday night that strips local control from county officials when siting wind and solar energy projects in and around Illinois communities.

House Bill 4412 was passed by a partisan vote of the Senate on Jan. 8. It now moves to House of Representatives for consideration.

“With this partisan vote, Illinois now becomes the only state in the country to strip local county control from local officials,” Syverson said. “If House Bill 4412 becomes law, the state Majority Party will now control zoning rules and standards, including the placement of windmills and solar fields within 600 feet of a home in any neighborhood.”

Sen. Syverson says he has no argument with wind and solar energy projects, but he strongly opposes the heavy-handedness of the sponsors in assuming state Majority Party leaders know better than local officials what is better for their residents.

“This is so wrong. It is yet another move by Chicago Democrat leaders to take control over local communities. House Bill 4412 is opposed by local county officials and the Farm Bureau,” Syverson said. “This is the kind of legislation that is passed on a Sunday evening during lame-duck legislative session, outside of regular working hours, and not allowing any input by the public, interested parties or stakeholders.”

House Bill 4412 stops counties from passing zoning laws to prevent siting of new wind farms or solar energy fields. The state law becomes the new zoning rules. Counties will be required to update their zoning rules to reflect this new state law. The new county ordinances cannot be more restrictive than this state law.

Dave Syverson

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