Solar Farm Petition

Dear Constituent,

As I am sure you are aware, it recently came to light that an out-of-state company intended to build a large solar array on a 38-acre farm at 25428 N. Fairfield Rd near your home. Many area residents contacted my office expressing concern over the potential impact this project would have to their property and neighborhood. Additionally, concerns were expressed about the vendor’s lack of transparency throughout their application process.

To be clear, the effort to quick-site this project and avoid the normal governmental review process was only possible because of recent state legislation passed in Springfield that stripped counties from the ability to exercise control over their territories, specifically when it comes to siting wind and solar farms. I did not support this legislation when it was enacted in part due to this override of local control.

Thanks to the quick action taken by the Village of Hawthorn Woods, they were able to delay, or perhaps even stop entirely, this project from continuing in this manner. I understand that the fate of the project is still unknown as the vendor is pursuing legal action related to the Village’s annexation of the property, but in the meantime, I wanted to update you on my efforts to make changes in state law to ensure projects like this cannot move forward in residential areas without approval of local governments and input by nearby landowners.

Working with the Village of Hawthorn Woods and Lake County Board Member Adam Schlick, I drafted Senate Bill 3920 that would make the following changes to state law to protect residential neighborhoods like yours:

  1. Limit quick siting to agricultural zoned land or brownfields. 
  2. Require notification to the neighboring landowners as well as any municipalities or townships that are within 1.5 miles of the proposed site of the solar array or wind farm within 30 days of the start of the application process with the county. 
  3. Limit siting to 500 ft. from a residential property line except by explicit permission of the adjoining landowner. 
  4. Prohibit siting on any property zoned residential or estate. 
  5. Expand the limitations on this law beyond Cook County to include any other county with a population above 500,000. 

While any sort of change we may be able to make will take time to accomplish, I will continue to work to make sure you have a voice in any future projects proposed on nearby vacant property to help ensure your neighborhood and your land is protected from the unintended consequences that are currently allowed by state law.

If I can ever be of assistance on this or other issues in the future, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Best Regards,

Senator Dan McConchie

26th District of Illinois

Dan McConchie

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