Library filed under Legal from Michigan

Court rules against townships in wind farm dispute

Township officials have not stood by waiting for the decision. Essex Township enacted new regulations on wind farms, but did not include restrictions on height, distance and setbacks. Dallas Township enacted an interim zoning ordinance in February that restricts the height of wind energy systems to 380 feet. Bengal Township is also considering a zoning ordinance.
19 Jun 2015

Upper Peninsula wind farm sued over impact on neighbors

Eleven people and a group representing others who own property are suing Heritage Sustainable Energy and the U.S. government, seeking to block any expansion and require more study on the impact of 14 turbines near the village of Garden in Delta County’s Garden Peninsula, which juts into northern Lake Michigan.
21 Jan 2015

Heritage Energy suing county

“Schoolcraft County has by exercise of its regulatory power has, by adoption of the Schoolcraft County Zoning Ordinance as amended, completely deprived plaintiffs of all economically beneficial use of plaintiffs’ leases, easements, MET (test) tower, road and GIA (generator interconnection agreement) in Schoolcraft County,” the filing states.
1 Jan 2015

Heritage sues Garden Township

In January, the Garden Peninsula Foundation entered a lawsuit against Heritage, claiming the company commenced operation of 14 wind turbines on the Garden Peninsula in 2012 without first obtaining an environmental impact assessment from a federal or state agency. The complaint also alleged the plaintiffs experienced “negative impacts to their health and well-being, use and enjoyment of their property and diminution in value of their property due to turbines”.
1 Jan 2015

Meade Township Referendum legal challenge - letter

Parsch_-_letter_to_clerk_-_adequacy_of_petitions_thumb A petition signed by more than 120 people was submitted to Meade Township's clerk seeking a vote on whether areas in the township should be found suitable for wind energy development. The township clerk insisted the wording on the petition was inadequate, thus no ballot vote would happen. The deadline for submitting a petition has now passed. This letter, prepared by Attorney Joshua Nolan, explains Michigan's law on petitions and argues that the town clerk's decision to disqualify the petition was not lawful. A portion of the letter is posted below. The full letter can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
22 Dec 2014

Bills would limit wind turbine lawsuits

“The fact that Sen. Walker would put forth a pair of bills that would largely exempt wind developers from local control for the siting of turbines, as well as exempt them from liability for negligent design, paints a clear picture. Wind development is becoming much harder to sell to rural communities. ...wind developers are having a much harder time convincing people that 50- or 60-story tall turbines are scarcely noticeable in our quiet farming communities.”
6 Nov 2014

Judge denies Consumers on 2 wind trial motions; trial begins Monday

Consumers Energy will defend its Lake Winds Energy Park in 51st Circuit Court starting Monday. ...Attorneys Richard Wilson and Adam Smith will present Consumers’ defense to a six-person jury to be selected Monday morning. Judge Richard C. Cooper explained that the defendants will go forth two by two in part because in conferring with a judge who was set to hear a similar case in the Thumb that it seemed to be the most logical way to proceed. 
18 Oct 2014

Consumers Energy Sound Mitigation Plan with Commentary

Masoncountymitigationplanreview-shineldecker_thumb The Lake Winds Energy Park has been found in violation of the Mason County Michigan zoning ordinance due to noise levels exceeding the permitted levels. The Mason County Planning Commission notified Consumers Energy of the exceedences and the matter is before the Courts. The attached document is the proposed sound mitigation plan. In addition, one of the residents pursuing the court case, Cary Shineldecker, filed a review of the mitigation plan. Both Consumers Sound Mitigation Plan and Mr. Shineldecker's review can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
18 Feb 2014

Consumers must provide noise mitigation plan, company says it will comply by Friday

Coooper said the ordinance sections dealing with wind turbines are clear and Consumers helped draft them. “The ordinance is simple: One year after implementation, (sound) would be reviewed,” Cooper said. “If the planning commission accepts that responsibility and looks at results of independent testing, different entities would be able to appear at those sessions and give their input. If they do not, that doesn’t mean that due process was violated, it’s just the zoning process. The plaintiff today fails on the argument that there is a lack of due process.”
5 Feb 2014

Judge: Too late to add more participants to wind turbine suit

A Wexford County judge turned down a motion by the defendants in a wind turbine lawsuit to allow as many as 200 property owners who lease their property to the wind developers to be added as participants in the suit. Several dozen property owners filled one half of the 28th Circuit Court courtroom in Wexford County Tuesday afternoon as a motion to add the property owners as parties to the case was heard by Judge William Fagerman.
22 Jan 2014

Judge delays ruling on Clinton County wind-energy project

Lawyers for Bengal, Dallas and Essex townships countered, saying the additional restrictions are consistent with the county’s special-use permit and should be allowed to stand to protect the “health, safety and welfare” of township residents. When the arguments concluded, Tahvonen said he wanted more time to read the legal briefs submitted by each side and would rule “in short order,” but not immediately.
19 Oct 2013
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