Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Michigan
The group asserts Ellington Township Supervisor Duane Lockwood inappropriately made a motion to amend Ellington Township’s existing wind ordinance in January 2015. County records show that Lockwood’s company, Ellington Land Properties L.L.C., signed lease agreements with a wind developer in mid to late 2014.
The Huron County Planning Commission on Wednesday approved the district by a 7-2 vote in a packed Huron County District Courtroom. But voters could have the final say.
The second topic related to wind was filling a vacant planning commission seat. Filling the chair could help break the planning commission’s current 2-2 deadlock over changes to the wind ordinance. However, the board of trustees did not confirm Supervisor Duane Lockwood’s nominee.
BAD AXE — Bottom line: you cannot opt-out once the contract is signed.
Last Thursday, Michigan Wind 3, owned by Exelon Generation, filed the civil complaint against the township supervisor, planning commission chairman and clerk, claiming the postponement is illegal. The company is asking for an immediate ruling by the circuit court judge, ordering the township to hold the June 14 hearing.
Bridgehampton Township has delayed a decision on a special land use permit for a large wind farm development. The township planning board canceled a June public hearing for Exelon special land use permit at its Tuesday meeting. It tabled the hearing until after a referendum vote in August.
The county is considering lawyering up in response to a list of more than 50 residents asking to be excluded from an area being primed for a batch of 50 to 70 wind turbines. County attorney Stephen Allen this week said county commissioners should hire outside legal counsel to determine whether allowing that many residents to opt out would create spot zoning.
“We looked at the pros and the cons,” Haggerty said. “We’re trying to find a medium ground that everybody can live with and we felt we had found it with the current (setback) distances.” Haggerty and two other township trustees hold leases with Exelon.
After a lengthy discussion, an Almer Township Board meeting took a strange turn on Tuesday night when Planning Committee liaison Brian Schriber told the Board he felt they didn't need to enact a moratorium on special use permits for wind turbines as recommended on a 6-1 vote of the planning commission. A motion was made to follow Schriber's suggestion and passed with abstentions from Township Supervisor Jim Miklovic and Trustee Michael Putnam.
County planners want more time and input before taking action on DTE Energy’s plan to build 50 to 70 wind turbines in Huron County.
Tussey said he and other members of the concerned citizens group believe it was that pressure that led township officials to quickly enact what the concerned citizens have called a weak ordinance. They say what was adopted in Ellington Township was more about how many turbines can fit into one space and less about health, safety and overall impact on the community. “That pressure led them to not research the details of the ordinance.
All members of the Lincoln Township Board of Trustees signed a letter dated March 16 in opposition to the proposed overlay. “We feel that Huron County has done our part as far as Green Energy. We feel that no additional turbines should be allowed in Huron County,” the letter succinctly states.
In a standing-room only meeting at the Ellington Township Hall, the board voted unanimously in favor of a 120-day moratorium. ...Before voting on the moratorium, the board also voted unanimously to ask the Ellington Township Planning Commission to evaluate where turbines should be allowed in relation to property lines.
The meeting was advertised through a piece of paper posted at the township office 18 hours before the meeting, Block said. The board went into executive session with its lawyer during the March 22 meeting and afterward voted on a new moratorium that stayed all future wind development except Exelon’s project.
The Planning Commission voted to table the matter until they can go through more documents. They will schedule a special meeting to vote on the wind overlay district zoning.
Commissioners in Tuscola County spent hours of their Thursday morning meeting listening to Almer and Ellington Township residents frustrated by the perceived lack of attention paid to them by their respective township planning committees regarding the zoning of wind turbines.
Tussey said he had additional concerns, as well, including the fact that as the board discussed ordinance changes, there was a lot of two-way exchange between planning commissioners and representatives of NextEra and Spicer. He told the board it was concerning the public was shut out of the two-way discussion and could not have any input until after the board voted.
In the space of about a week, three Sanilac County townships put a stay on wind energy development, and a fourth is considering the same possibility. Marion Township, one of the future sites for a planned Exelon wind project, approved a moratorium on wind energy development ...On Tuesday, voters in Argyle and Wheatland townships voted down their wind energy ordinances.
The Ellington Township Planning Commission meeting Wednesday felt like a court hearing as two sides tried to make their case for planners to revisit – or not revisit – the community’s existing wind turbine-related ordinances. After three hours, the meeting was adjourned before anything was resolved.
Officials in Tuscola County’s Elmwood Township have enacted a one-year moratorium on construction of wind turbines, citing a need to “better protect the public health, safety and welfare” of residents.