Library from Michigan

Montcalm Township planner, lawyer say no conflict of interest ‘at this time’

On Aug. 5, 2020, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to review and amend the township’s wind ordinance after Apex Clean Energy, a wind energy company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, expressed interest in Montcalm County as the host of its next potential commercial wind farm. Earlier that year, Karnatz signed a development-phase lease agreement with Apex, which pays property owners an unspecified amount per acre annually.
5 Mar 2021

MI Appeals Court Concluded Interim Zoning Ordinance is Valid and Not Subject to Referendum, and Dismissed Lawsuit by Solar Developer

An interim zoning ordinance put in place by the Township of Benton blocked the construction of a large-scale solar array, proposed by the Sandstone Creek Solar, LLC (“Sandstone”). ...The court went on to explain that the legislative purpose of interim ordinance is “[t]o protect the public health, safety, and general welfare … during the period required for the preparation and enactment of an initial zoning ordinance,” and for this purpose interim ordinances are allowed to take immediate effect. Such purpose would not be fulfilled if interim ordinances could be automatically suspended upon the filing of a referendum petition. 
13 Feb 2021

Pine Township supervisor says wind moratorium is not an option

“A close look should be taken at all of those concerns,” he said. “I’d like to assure everybody that no construction can begin without a special use permit and ultimately a zoning permit. At this point in time, nobody has even applied for the special use part of it. I also agree that the present ordinance could stand some tweaking. The setbacks definitely need a closer look. It does address shadow flicker and decibels and so on — maybe they need to be tightened up.
11 Feb 2021

Sandstone Creek v Benton Township decision

Sandstone_creek_v_benton_township_thumb Sandstone Creek Solar LLC sought to construct a solar energy facility on 850 acres of agriculture land in Benton Township in Eaton County, MIchigan. The township did not have zoning at the time and relied on county zoning for land use regulation. When it became apparent that the County would support approval of the solar project Benton's Trustees adopted an interim zoning ordinance that permitted small-scale solar energy systems in districts zoned for industrial use and permitted large-scale solar energy systems in industrial districts by special use permit. Sandstone Creek and landowner, Gary Walters, filed a suit challenging Benton's actions. In this decision the court upholds the lower court's decision that found the Benton Township acted lawfully. The full decision can be accessed at the document links on this page. 
4 Feb 2021

FAA: Wind farm could hurt Rogers City airport

The Federal Aviation Administration has determined the height of the proposed wind turbines would be too tall and penetrate restricted airspace. The turbines would also present safety issues during landings and takeoffs unless alterations to the plan are made.
28 Aug 2020

Energy company looking at potential 50,000 acre wind farm project in 11 Montcalm County townships

“We’re currently looking at about 11 different townships in Montcalm County, including Sidney,” he said. “We don’t know who’s going to be interested in signing a lease or who’s not. There’s likely to be upwards of 50,000 acres signed into this property. Probably several hundred landowners and their families will be participating.
7 Aug 2020

DTE puts wind farm on hold

Company representatives have been opposing many of the restrictions included in a wind turbine zoning ordinance passed in Matteson and Sherwood townships. A similar ordinance is pending in Batavia Township. Voters in Sherwood Township on Tuesday voted to approve the ordinance restrictions, 321 to 157.
6 Aug 2020

Wind turbine zoning approved; millages pass

Branch County Concerned Citizens had mounted a campaign to lobby to create the law and to pass it. A petition to put the proposal to a vote was filed after it was passed unanimously by the township planning commission and board. Incumbent supervisor James Smith had to recused himself from votes on the ordinance because he had signed leases with DTE for wind turbines.
5 Aug 2020

Across U.S., green mega-projects to power cities aren't playing well in Mayberry

While the coronavirus recession has sapped demand for energy and put fracking companies on the ropes – with hundreds of bankruptcies declared so far – the renewables that would replace oil and coal are facing a growing challenge that will last long after the pandemic: The resistance of rural communities to mammoth solar or wind farms that can power cities. From New York to California, local opposition is thwarting wind and solar projects seen as essential to transitioning from fossil fuels. Many opponents support renewable energy in theory and express concern about climate change. And many landowners have partnered with environmental groups to block or delay natural gas pipelines designed to run through their property.
16 Jul 2020

Matteson passes wind turbine control law

DTE filed written objections that the 328-foot height limit as measured from the tip of the vertical blade prevents the turbine from reaching wind resources. It said 500 feet is more typical in the state. The written presentation ...also claimed the regulations for setbacks made it impossible to site any wind turbines on the almost half of the township under a lease.
7 Mar 2020

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Michigan
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