Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Michigan

Wind turbine debate heads local ballot issues

A ballot question that’s gained perhaps the most attention asks whether a wind energy project with up to 58 turbines should continue in Meade Township. Residents, township officials and attorneys tussled for months at meetings to decide whether areas should be approved for wind development. 
9 Apr 2015

Turbine slowdown shouldn't affect state energy targets

A report by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), a regulatory agency for public energy, communication and transportation services, shows utilities will meet a 10 percent renewable energy mandate set in 2008 by the end of this year. “Based on the most recent report, it appears that we will meet the 10 percent by 2015 (and not be) hindered by this moratorium,” said Judy Palnau, MPSC spokeswoman. That report also shows an excess amount of renewable energy credits.
4 Apr 2015

Commissioners pass wind energy moratorium; No developer excluded

Commissioners Sami Khoury, John Nugent, Dave Peruski and Ron Wruble voted for the resolution creating a moratorium, and Clark Elftman, Richard Swartzendruber and John Bodis voted against it. Following the 90 day period, commissioners will have the opportunity to extend the moratorium for another 90 days if the planned changes to the ordinance have not been made.
2 Apr 2015

County planners vote 5-4 for no pause in wind energy

About 150 residents packed into Huron County’s Circuit Courtroom Wednesday night to help county planners decide whether there should be a stop on wind energy development for up to six months. Planners voted 5-4 against recommending a wind moratorium. The final decision now rests with the county board of commissioners.
6 Mar 2015

Meade Twp. residents to vote on wind overlay

The ballot question will read: “The Meade Township Board approved an ordinance amendment to establish a wind overlay district on Nov. 11, 2014. This approval will allow the development of a wind energy project to continue in Meade Township. Should this ordinance amendment be approved, yes or no?”
5 Feb 2015

One lawsuit settled, but no truce in wind energy debate

A lawsuit in which residents living near the Lake Winds wind plant south of Ludington claimed the facility was making people sick has been settled out of court. Cary Shineldecker, one of the plaintiffs in the case, isn’t allowed to discuss details of the settlement, but is still allowed to talk about the alleged negative health effects that can be suffered by those who live near such facilities.
31 Jan 2015

County counsel OKs wind moratorium

Mounting complaints spurred the Huron County Board of Commissioners to consider a moratorium on new wind park development for at least six months. During the board’s meeting Tuesday, Huron County Corporate Counsel Steve Allen said he has reviewed the proposal and he agrees a pause in wind development is appropriate.
29 Jan 2015

Commissioners discuss possible wind moratorium in secret

After meeting behind closed doors Tuesday to hear legal advice on putting a halt to wind energy development in the county for the next six months, county commissioners plan to open the discussion to the public next week. Following a 45-minute closed session, Board Chair John Nugent said an open discussion will be added to next week’s agenda to talk about a countywide wind energy moratorium.
21 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

County votes to slow the breezes for turbine energy; Commissioners want updated ordinance for wind parks

“I don’t know where this is all going to go,” County Commissioner John Nugent said Tuesday. “But we have to begin somewhere on trying to control the irresponsible spread of wind turbines.” On Tuesday, county commissioners voted 6-1 to pay up to $1,000 to Foster Swift, a Grand Rapids law firm, to draft paperwork for a moratorium on wind energy in Huron County. 
31 Dec 2014

Meade wind energy ballot issue is not a done deal

Meade resident Rita Parsch’s petition for referendum, filed with the township board, sought to put on the May ballot the question of whether DTE Energy’s wind overlay district should be approved. The overlay map deems areas within the township suitable for the utility’s plan to site 40 wind turbines.
23 Dec 2014

Feds call for no coastal turbines — unless county thinks otherwise

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is confident that land area within three miles of the Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay shorelines needs to be protected from wind energy development. ...the federal conservancy agency recommends Huron County include in its wind energy ordinance a “three-mile buffer inland from the shoreline that precludes development of wind power projects,” according to an Oct. 20 letter sent to the county.
17 Nov 2014

Meade planners OK wind district

The prospect of siting about 50 more wind turbines in Huron County moved one step closer to reality Tuesday. In a 4-2 vote, Meade planners approved a wind energy overlay district for DTE Energy’s newest wind park planned for Meade and Colfax townships.
30 Oct 2014
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