Fulton County Board Committee Minutes
Fulton County Board Office, 257 West Lincoln Street, Lewistown, IL 61542
Committee: Community Development, Zoning & 200th Anniversary
Meeting Place: 257 W Lincoln, Lewistown, IL
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Date: March 7, 2023
Call in information: 1-425-436-6307
Access code: 835427
1. Call to Order
Laura Kessel (present/xxxxxx) – by phone
BJ McCullum (xxxxxxx/absent)
Ryan Sloan (present/xxxxxx)
Lauren Southwood (present/xxxxxx)
David Widger (present/xxxxxx)
OTHER BOARD MEMBERS:
ELECTED & APPOINTED OFFICIALS: Janice Emmons – Planning and Zoning Director, Julie Russell – Supervisor of Assessment
STAFF: Cindy Simpson – Fulton County Board Administrative Assistant
2. Roll Call
Roll call was taken, quorum was present
3. Call for Additions/Deletions to and Approval of the Agenda
Member Southwood moved to approve the agenda with a second from Member Sloan. Motion carried by roll call vote (4-0).
4. Approval of Previous Minutes – February 7, 2023
Member Southwood moved to approve the minutes from February 7, 2023 with a second from Member Sloan. Motion carried by roll call vote (4-0).
5. Announcements, Communications and Correspondence
Zoning Officer Emmons discussed the Illinois Association of County Board members and commissioners, in conjunction with the Illinois Farm Bureau and legal counsel have developed language for wind and solar sitting ordinances to help counties comply with the new legal requirements. Counties may not be more stringent than the state guidelines. State guidelines typically supersede county guidelines.
Emmons discussed the Wind and Solar Ordinances with State’s Attorney Jochums who suggested a few changes to the State guidelines to refer to Fulton County upon completion. The ordinance would be sent to the Community Development Committee and to the Zoning Board of Appeals Committee for approval then the ordinance would be presented to the Fulton County Board for approval.
The public hearing for Leeward Energy was held on March 1, 2023 at the Fulton County Farm Bureau building in Lewistown, IL. The solar project in South Fulton entails approximately 3800 acres, and approximately 3500 acres are reclaimed strip-mined acres in Vermont and Pleasant Townships. Leeward Energy is seeking a conditional use permit and a variance to move forward with the project.
The solar project will bring approximately $70 million in property taxes over the next 30 years to Fulton County. Leeward Energy is investing approximately $700 million in capital for the solar development project in Fulton County.
Zoning Officer Emmons reported the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the conditional use permit and an additional 4-year variance to allow for construction of the solar project.
6. Public Comments – None
7. Claims/Financial Report
Member Southwood moved to approve the claims with a second from Member Sloan. Motion carried by roll call vote (4-0).
8. Zoning Office Report
Janice Emmons, Zoning Officer, reported the Zoning office received $3,944.79 in revenue during the month of February. Twelve new construction permits have been received and ten initial construction inspections were completed. There were 15 final construction inspections completed. There were approximately 12 consultations concerning exempt splits in accordance with the plat act. Ten plat act affidavits were signed and 140 consultations were conducted by phone concerning zoning matters. There were three conditional use permits renewed.
No complaints were received by the zoning office.
The Zoning Board of Appeals met on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 and conducted a public hearing regarding the South Fulton Solar Project proposed by Leeward Energy. The meeting opened promptly at 6:00 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Building in Lewistown, IL with five members of the Zoning Board of Appeals present as well as several elected and appointed officials, numerous property owners, and various members of the public attended. Approximately 40 people attended.
The ZBA granted a conditional use permit to Leeward Energy to begin construction and granted Leeward Energy a variance that allows up to six years to complete the construction process. The minutes will be available on the Fulton County Websit after they have been approved.
9. New Business
a. Discussion –Overview on public Hearing for South Fulton Solar Project
The overview of the South Fulton Solar Project was discussed in the zoning report.
b. Discussion/Action: Resolution: Association with Peoria Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
Member Sloan moved to approve the resolution with a second from Member Widger. Motion carried by roll call vote (4-0).
10. Old Business
a. Discussion/Action: 200th Anniversary Planning
Member Kessel discussed 2 or 3 dates for the 200th Anniversary Celebration.
The bands that will be participating in the event is being worked on. A budget and dates are needed before the bands can be confirmed for the event.
Member Wider presented a T-shirt of Fulton County that would be for sale throughout the event. The committee give more thought on selling the T-shirts.
11. Executive Session – None
12. Misc. – None
Member Sloan moved to adjourn at 5:50pm with a second from Member Southwood. Motion carried by roll call vote