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Despite repeated requests from residents, the Pine Township Board on Monday declined to take any action on placing a temporary moratorium on wind permits, on saying whether they would be updating the township’s wind ordinance or on allowing a spokesperson with turbine concerns to be scheduled to speak at a future meeting.
The Maple Valley Township Board voted 4-0 on Monday night — with new Trustee Benjamin Newell abstaining due to his lease with Apex Clean Energy — to rescind their recently approved controversial wind ordinance, to rescind approval of a ballot question regarding the wind ordinance and to place a six-month moratorium on any wind activity in the township.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
The turbine is part of the Harvest II Wind Project owned by Exelon Generation, the second part of a wind farm whose first phase began operations in 2008. Harvest II's second phase started operating in 2012. Turbine #7 is located south of Crown Road and east of Gagetown Road.
A special joint meeting of the Winfield Township Board and the Winfield Township Planning Commission featured legal advice on a pending wind energy facility ordinance, as well as conflict of interest scenarios involving township officials and a proposed wind farm project.
This useful resource lists a host of protective land use ordinances adopted in different jurisdictions in the State of Michigan for siting industrial wind energy turbines. A sample set of ordinances is provided below. The full list can be downloaded from this page.
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.
Montcalm County residents could see a local wind farm project sooner than they think — and it could encompass up to 50,000 acres throughout 11 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.
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.
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.
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.
ROGERS CITY — The Federal Aviation Administration is evaluating whether proposed wind turbines in Moltke Township would obstruct air traffic at the Rogers City Airport.
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.
A Michigan database of all solar and wind ordinances in the state aims to help local officials research what regulations may work in their communities.
After over two years of meetings and discussion, the Matteson Township Board on Wednesday night dealt a potential blow to DTE Energy’s plan to install wind turbines in the township.
The ordinance requires a setback of 1.25 miles from the property line of a non-leased parcel, which among other setbacks DTE finds excessive. “We are confident the cumulative effect of these setbacks will not leave any land availible for potential wind turbine siting,” he wrote.