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updated: 7/20/2011 3:35 PM

Wauconda discusses wind and solar energy

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By Danielle Gensburg

While Wauconda officials haven't yet settled on a plan for allowing wind and solar energy systems in the village, they're clarifying what they might be open to considering.

During a special building, zoning and administration committee meeting Tuesday, officials discussed possible standards that included a -acre minimum lot size and a maximum height of 35 feet for free standing wind devices, and a sound level of 50 or 60 decibels.

Trustee Doug Buster, who is chairman of the committee, also voiced concern over the visibility of the wind and solar systems.

"We have a responsibility to make sure we don't end up with something ugly or 10 to 15 mechanisms in a row and complaining neighbors," Buster said.

The committee also reviewed details of earlier solar and wind energy ordinance proposals that were drafted in December 2010 and January 2011.

"If this is the direction we need to be going, let's adopt the standards," said zoning consultant Chris Miller.

Miller said he and other officials had been looking at the issue from a safety standpoint, but were aware aesthetics would be a primary concern by residents.

"There are some pretty wind and solar energy systems out there," he said. "The wind systems have to be neutral in color."

No authorization has been given by the village board regarding allowing these devices.

Village officials made no final decisions and decided to further explore amendments and bring the issue to discussion at a committee meeting in the fall.

The desire to have these systems arose from inquiries by the residential and business communities in Wauconda, officials said.