To the Editor:
We are opposed to the proposed solar complex at the corner of Ringwood and South Solon Roads. We are very worried about the impact on the quality of our neighborhood as well as the value and marketability of the nearby homes.
We live in this area because of its residential, rural and agricultural character. Using prime farmland and placing this facility so close to residential areas is wrong and is in direct conflict with the 2030 McHenry County master plan. The proposed variance will likely invite additional conflicting use on other properties nearby.
This location could very well be the tipping point for McHenry County.
We are concerned about the long-term implications this facility. Allowing the variance assumes that California-based Cypress Creek will do the right thing for the next 40 years.
How good is this assumption considering how they are structuring the business model for this site? That being three small LLCs that shelter their parent company from issues that may arise in the future. What will happen in the event that the site is sold, they should go bankrupt or choose to abandon the site/LLCs? Who will be responsible for cleaning up the mess that will be left behind?
We are also concerned about the potential health impact of having this facility. While we’ve been told that properly maintained solar panels represent no health risk, what happens if the site falls into disrepair? What impact could that have on us and the other nearby residents such as contaminated ground water?
We see no benefit that would offset the potential impact on our home’s value and the enjoyment of our property. For example, the tax revenue generated from this facility, especially if it is allowed to retain the Ag tax rate, as is requested in the variance, will be significantly less than if it is used for residential housing.
There are certainly other areas in McHenry County where a solar farm of this size would have no impact on the surrounding area or neighbors.
Glenn and Glenda Pittluck