The Huron County Planning Commission looked over the recommendations made by DTE for the county solar ordinance, which took up most of the discussion in its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 5.
"(The discussion) really was to clean up a little bit more of the language," said Jeff Smith from the zoning and building department. "It is to look it over before it moves onto the corporation counsel, who will review the draft before presenting it back to the planning commission to vote on it. If the planning commission approves it, then it will move onto the county board to be voted on."
According to Smith, there are still a few steps to go before this ordinance is ready to be put in front of the Huron County Board of Commissioners, as the corporation counsel will still need to clean up some of the language.
"I did put the call in and spoke briefly with our corporation counsel," Smith said during the meeting. "They will help us in the final review of the draft of the solar ordinance. We have already sent it to them once and they took a closer review of it, so when we finalize it at the planning commission, we will do the same thing again."
Paul Funk from DTE was present during the meeting to help answer any questions that the commission members might have had on the recommendations made.
"I just wanted to thank the planning commission for their consideration for the solar ordinance and willingness to engage with us," Funk said during the public comment portion of the meeting."You are writing an ordnance for any developer to come in, but being considerate to something that is functional for us but good for the health, safety and welfare of your community and we appreciate your consideration."
"Come prepared next month and glance on down through it," said Bill Renn, chairman of the planning commission. "We should be able to wrap this up here. We should be able to get it ready for someone else to look at (the ordinance) besides us and send it on."
In other business, the planning commission was presented with a site plan review for a solar array to be constructed for Deerfield Wind Energy LLC. The solar panels would be installed by Mid-America Solar LLC and would feed into the existing electrical service for the Deerfield Wind Energy LLC operations and maintenance building.
"It's an onsite system it is not a utility scale solar energy array like our draft ordinance would be," Smith said. "It is an onsite commercial development. Like any other onsite development, the county requires the planning commission to do a site plan review."
The system that was approved is a ground mounted system and will be installed at 3200 East Kinde Road. The approval was conditionally applied however, as was noted by Jeff that the language in the legal description and the measurements on the site plan did not line up.
Dylan Pugh, the representative for Mid-America Solar LLC, present at the meeting addressed these discrepancies.
"Jeff did bring the setback and the discrepancies between the property lines and road frontage to my attention late last week," Pugh said. "Jeff and I spoke about possibility of just determine what our setback is, and if we can draw up new plans if indeed, that these property lines aren't correct, that we just meet and exceed those setback distances and resubmit the plans."
The planning commission approved the plans with the condition that the language on the legal description will match up upon being resubmitted.
The next planning commission meeting will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Bad Axe County Building in the meeting room 305.
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