Library from Michigan
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.
But because a flood of information and letters arrived just before the meeting, member Carl Duda made a motion to table a decision. Brock agreed, saying he would prefer more time for review rather than push any action. Brock says planners won’t take action on the project at their April 6 meeting. They instead hope to set a special meeting at a later date.
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.
The applications were filed less than 24 hours after video and audio recordings of a March 14, 2016, Almer Township Planning Commission meeting, show a NextEra representative saying the company couldn’t provide details about specific locations because it was “still working on its plans.”
Saying that “wind turbines have an incredibly small footprint” really depends on what you compare them to. I actually wonder if there is any energy production system that takes as much space as wind does.
The board of commissioners voted 4-3 Tuesday to authorize its attorney, Stephen Allen, to advise whether it’s legal to set a cap on wind turbines in the county. John Nugent, the board’s legislative chair, brought the motion for a vote.
The flat fields and scenic farms have been replaced by mechanical monsters with arms spinning in the wind. They dominate the landscape visually, impossible to ignore. ...What’s clear, at least to me, is that something has to change. People are being hurt by these wind developments. Their concerns should not fall on deaf ears.
Exelon Wind Generation says it has sent materials to an independent lab for analysis from the site where a 400-foot wind turbine fell.
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.
Faced with a referendum in August, questions about conflict of interest, and a decade-old zoning law, officials here have placed a temporary hold on a proposed windmill project. Exelon Generation, which wants to construct a total of 68 windmills in Marion and Bridgehampton townships, has run into a buzz-saw of opposition.
The same local official who advocated for a moratorium on wind energy projects in December 2014 says it’s now time to permanently halt wind development in Huron County.
“Catastrophic failures do happen,” said Block, a local businessman who supported the recent petition drive for a referendum on Marion Township’s expanded windmill district. “The two recent events in Huron County prove the need and importance of proper setbacks.”
The blade bent and wrapped around the nacelle of the turbine, flinging a 12-foot piece of blade about 120 yards from the base. DTE Energy regional manager Ron Chriss said GE, the manufacturer of the turbine, will be on site this coming week to make repairs and investigate the cause.
As crews continue to probe why a 400-foot wind turbine fell on a farm field, county planners talked publicly for the first time Wednesday about the incident and aftermath. County Building and Zoning Director Jeff Smith said he was out of town when the turbine fell, on Feb. 25, but went out to the site in Oliver Township on Feb. 29 with township officials.
“It’s important that the community know the short-term, mid-term, and long-term consequences of having turbines in the community,” Tussey said. “It’s not a situation where, if you don’t like it, you can just turn it off. It’s more akin to building a bridge, and once a bridge is built, it’s built.” Tussey plans to work with the concerned citizens in Ellington Township on an educational campaign intended to deliver straight facts about turbines – and not just at public meetings held during major snowstorms.