GRNE Solar Field Kendall Co.

(City of Yorkville photo)

The developer of a solar field to help power the Kendall County Government Center on John St. is seeking a new special use permit from the city of Yorkville, following approval of a permit by the city council, last year.

Petitioner GRNE Solar requested a special use permit for a free standing solar structure that will be on 7.4 acres of land consisting of around 6,400 solar modules.

Yorkville Senior Planner Jason Engberg writes that the developer is requesting to repeal the previously approved ordinance and replace it with a new special use authorization. The solar farm itself will stay in the same location, be the same size, and provide electricity to the on-site County buildings.

Kendall County Administrator Scott Koeppel alluded to the need for some alterations at a Kendall County Board meeting in September.

Administrator Koeppel said at that meeting that the county hopes to have the field online sometime in 2020.

According to Yorkville committee documents, the developer is seeking some changes to the originally approved fencing and some of the landscaping requirements.

After receiving quotes, GRNE and the county realized that the higher cost for a vinyl fence compared to a wooden fence of the needed size would be extremely more expensive. The petitioner is requesting that a 100% fully opaque fence be installed around the entire property and be allowed to be made of wood.

The county is requesting removing landscaping elements on the west side of the property, also due to cost.

City staff writes that they support the wood fence, but do not support the removal of landscaping. Engberg essentially writes a wood fence will still provide screening and will look aesthetically pleasing, but because of comments made by a business to the west of the field during the public hearing process, the request for landscaping helped alleviate some of the concerns they had about staring at a blank fence or the solar field itself. Staff has asked the county to contact the business owner to discuss if removing landscaping or reducing it would suffice.

The city's economic development committee will first review the new special use request at their meeting on Tuesday.