Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Michigan
Huron County Planning Commission members on Wednesday reviewed a cyclone of ordinance amendments and voted to tentatively schedule a public hearing to garner input on proposed revisions to the county's wind ordinance. The hearing will take place April 7, provided the Huron County Wind Energy Subcommittee agrees with the recommended amendments to the county's overlay wind ordinance.
A resolution allowing for the use of residential wind turbines in certain areas was tabled for the second consecutive month following action taken by the Huron County Planning Commission on Wednesday. Huron County planning commissioners tabled the motion last month after Huron County Corporation Counsel Stephen J. Allen advised the draft be revised so a layperson reading it can have an easy understanding of what is and is not allowed.
Huron County Planning Commissioners on Wednesday tabled a recommendation to amend the county's ordinance to allow for the use of residential wind turbines in certain areas. "Obviously, this is a hot topic ... I feel the tension running in the room on these issues," said Corporation Counsel Stephen J. Allen, who added he went to Wednesday's planning commission meeting not only to offer input, but to hear comment given during the public hearing.
The public has spoken, but the question is, will the state listen to what they said? Just over a month ago, the Wind Energy Resource Zone Board (WERZB) submitted their final report to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on what four areas of the state have the "highest level of wind energy harvest potential." The next step in the process is for the MPSC to look at wind turbine setback requirements and noise limitations.
A public hearing will be held during Wednesday's Huron County Planning Commission meeting regarding proposed amendments to add provisions to the county's zoning ordinance that allow the use of residential wind turbines in certain areas. Russ Lundberg, Huron County Building and Zoning director, said he has not heard any sort of response from the public or local government officials since notices of Wednesday's public hearing went out about two weeks ago.
The Whitehall Planning Commission is going back to the drawing board in preparing an ordinance to regulate development of renewable energy sources within the city. The planners came to that conclusion following its regular monthly meeting, Oct. 6, which mostly was filled with discussion about a draft ordinance first presented to the board in August. ...Now, planners may not hold a hearing before the end of the year.
The proposed wind turbine regulations are being sent back for a "do-over." After listening to citizens' input, the city council decided not to vote on a proposed new ordinance which would have regulated the construction and operation of wind energy conversion devices to capture the energy of moving air and turn it into electricity.
Currently, there are no wind turbines generating electricity in Grand Ledge, and there are none planned. But, when and if someone decides to build one, the city plans to be ready. "The primary reason the Planning Commission wanted to proceed was to have something in place to protect the public should somebody choose to put in a wind conversion device," said Grand Ledge Mayor Kalmin Smith.
A draft Renewable Energy Source ordinance submitted to the City Planning Commission at its meeting Aug. 4, is on the planners' agenda on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m. ...Helmlinger said the city is concerned about the safety and aesthetics of wind turbines and solar panels mounted on roofs of homes. The ordinance will control design and installation of wind turbines, including visual appearance, and will limit its height. The noise level is limited, and shadow flicker from the turbine blades must be minimized.
A wind energy ordinance breezed through the village's Planning Commission process Tuesday night with no objections. Commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance, modeled after suggested Ottawa County language. Village Council will make a final decision on it, possibly as early next month. The Planning Commission made a few changes to the county model - including reducing height restrictions from 120 feet to 50 feet.
While it's good to prepare for a rainy day, Mundy Township officials are preparing for windy days. Rather, they are preparing for possible wind turbines that someone in the future may want to erect to capitalize on wind energy. ..."It's new technology emerging -- we're trying to be proactive."
Rising electricity costs have many looking for ways to save some cash, including turning to wind power. Before that happens, local governments want to be sure everyone has rules to play by. Summit Township planning commissioners Tuesday said they were trying to "get ahead of the game a bit" by developing guidelines for wind turbines. The commission approved the changes Tuesday.
Hanson said Huron County Commissioner Kurt Damrow submitted a video tape from the June 24 Lake Township Planning Commission public hearing that was held to receive input on the proposed wind zoning ordinance. During that meeting, the board would not allow any discussion regarding taxes or economic implications of wind projects in Lake Township. "I refuse to listen to any economics at this meeting," said Lake Township Planning Board Chairman Louis Colletta during that June 24 meeting.
Wind power may be one of the up-and-coming green energy initiatives, but Genesee County residents might want to think twice before installing their own wind turbines. According to a map on the state Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth's Web site, 50-meter-tall towers in the county would generate poor-to-marginal wind power, and that's the shortest tower mapped on the site.
People are typically in favor of the idea of wind energy - until they're faced with the reality of gigantic, utility-sized turbines erected in their community. With utilities exploring potential wind power facilities in Ottawa and Allegan counties, a new study will give communities both sides of the blustery subject. ...The study will explore coastal wind energy in Ottawa, Allegan, Muskegon and Oceana counties both on land and in water.
"I've got a ton of inventory," said Fonzi, owner of Affordable Green Energy, a distributor of small, electricity-generating windmills in Essexville. "But I can't put them in the air. They're sitting in boxes." That's because, Fonzi says, most local governments in the county haven't passed ordinances governing the installation of "small wind," or turbines that generate up to 100 kilowatts of power and are intended for homes and small businesses.
A public hearing scheduled for tonight to discuss Consumers Energy's requested amendments to the Mason County Zoning Ordinance is canceled. Consumers Energy was requesting changes to wind ordinances. Dennis Marvin and Dan Bishop of Consumers Energy said the hearing was canceled after the company withdrew one of two requested amendments.
While some expressed support for the Lake Township Planning Board's wind ordinance draft discussed during a public hearing Wednesday, others felt the proposed regulations are too restrictive. ..."Lake Township needs to be protected," said Lake Township resident Charlie Henry. " ... I'm in favor of the ordinance ... and I would like to see it supported." Numerous public comment was given during the planning board's more than three-hour long public hearing.
Officials said the subcommittee recently formed to address a series of noise complaints the county has received regarding the Michigan Wind 1 development in Ubly will meet every Thursday. ...Damrow said Huron County Environmental Health Director Dale Lipar also was extended an invitation to participate in the subcommittee because this issue has to do with public health concerns raised by the residents who submitted the noise complaints.
There were windmill-shaped cookies offered as snacks at the Tustin Library last night, but citizens were really hungry for facts about what it was like to have a wind turbine as a neighbor. The meeting was sponsored by a group of landowners and citizens interested in the possibility of wind turbine power in Sherman Township.