Whiteside Board to address zoning issues

March 19, 2019

MORRISON – Two potential zoning changes may never become reality after the Whiteside County Board meets tonight.

Board members are scheduled to vote on the pending motions, but the recommendation is to deny the requests, which is somewhat rare at this level.

The first is for a special-use permit for a solar farm at 582 Stouffer Road in Sterling. SolAmerica Energy, LLC/Whiteside-Klingenberg is seeking to build the solar farm and explained the scope of the project at the February Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Several of the neighbors also attended that meeting and strongly voiced their opposition to the project, saying it would hinder residential construction in the area and hurt property values. Others who could not attend sent letters to the commission.

After hearing testimony from the company proposing to build the solar farm and the objectors, the commission voted 3-1 to deny the petition.

The second zoning petition that also will come with a motion to deny was submitted by Juan Roman, asking to change the zoning from residential to business for a former church at 12717 Lawrence Road in Sterling.

Roman wants to open the building for banquets and parties to provide a safe environment for children, away from traffic and bars. The plan is for restricted activity but rquires a zoning change from residential to business.

Both Sterling and Rock Falls city councils objected to the petition, and several residents near the location also protested the zoning change claiming the intended use did not fit within a residential neighborhood and potential traffic increase.