GRNE Solar Field Kendall Co.

(City of Yorkville photo)

At their meeting earlier this week, Yorkville's Economic Development Committee moved forward a request for a new special use permit being pursued by a developer for a solar field that will help power the Kendall County Government Center on John St.

The request will now go before the city's Planning, Building and Zoning Committee for a public hearing at their meeting on January 8th.

As WSPY previously reported, the Yorkville City Council, in 2018, approved 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.

The developer, GRNE Solar, is requesting a new special use and is seeking to repeal the previously approved ordinance, largely due to proposed changes in fencing and some landscaping.

Yorkville Senior Planner Jason Engberg said quotes obtained by the petitioner indicated the higher cost for a vinyl fence compared to a wooden fence of the needed size would be extremely more expensive. GRNE Solar is requesting that a 100% fully opaque fence be installed around the entire property and be allowed to be made of wood.

Removing some landscaping elements on the west side of the property has also been requested, due to cost.

City staff supports the wood fence but, currently, not the removal of landscaping, as a business to the west of the field during the public hearing process for the last special use, requested landscaping to help alleviate some of the concerns they had about staring at a blank fence or the solar field itself.

Engberg says the city could change that recommendation.

Alderman Joel Frieders said he agreed with staff's recommendation.

Kramer was present at the meeting and said he wanted to stress that the proposal would not be to have zero landscaping on the west side.

Recommendations from the public hearing and PBZ meeting will be forwarded to the city council in February. The economic development committee additionally moved a requested special use by Wrigley Manufacturing to PBZ. The company wants a single stationary solar panel and single vertical wind turbine to be located near the front of the property in the 2800 block of N. Bridge St. to power an illuminated sign.