Library filed under Legal from Michigan

Sandstone Creek v Benton Township decision

Sandstone_creek_v_benton_township_thumb 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. 
4 Feb 2021

Wind turbine opponents gearing up for court battle

The petition claims that the Wheatland Township Planning Commission’s vote on Ordinance 16.25 took place after the meeting had been adjourned, in violation of Michigan’s Open Meetings Act. It also alleges a conflict of interest among several Board members, who did not recuse themselves during a later, July 12, 2018 vote to adopt the ordinance.
14 Nov 2019

Michigan landowners’ long-shot lawsuit has high stakes for wind industry

“If someone got a judgment that windmills contributed to some adverse health effects people suffered, I would think that would be a pretty significant ruling,” said Ross Hammersley, a Traverse City attorney with Olson, Bzdok & Howard who specializes in environmental and real estate law. Hammersley, who is not involved in the case, reviewed some of the court filings for Midwest Energy News.
12 Jan 2018

Ambrose: Courts Uphold Wind Turbine Noise Limits

Letter_to_wind_action_group_-_8dec2017_thumb This important letter by acoustician Stephen Ambrose explains how two separate court decisions, one in Massachusetts and the other in Michigan, together provide clarity on what the minimum protective noise limits should be when siting industrial wind energy facilities. Mr. Ambrose's letter includes links to the two decisions as well as supporting background information. The content of the letter is shown below. The original can be downloaded from this page.
8 Dec 2017

Federal judge rules against wind developer

A federal judge recently dealt a blow to big wind development in a Tuscola County township. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources sued Almer Township in U.S. District Court in February alleging that the township's Board of Trustees had systematically tried to prevent the development of a wind farm.
7 Nov 2017

Decision: Tuscola Wind III v Almer Township MI

Tuscola_iii_v_almer_township_order_thumb This important decision by US District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington addresses two arguments proffered by the wind industry. The first relates to the industry's argument that noise standards for limiting turbine noise emissions that are based on Lmax are not reasonable. The second discusses the argument that restricitve ordinances, in this case an Lmax noise limit, are de facto exclusionay zoning. Judge Ludington takes both claims on and finds the wind company's arguments are without merit. A portion of the decision is provided below. The full decision can be downloaded from this page.
3 Nov 2017

Mediator trying to find solution to wind-energy dispute

Editor's note: Windaction has been informed by parties in Michigan that this mediation step was ordered and completed more than a month before this article was filed by the Associated Press. No agreement was reached in mediation. Almer Township contends that a permit was denied due to NextEra's failure to meet the requirements in law. A hearing before the court was held in September and the parties are awaiting a final decision by the judge. 
17 Oct 2017

Another township goes to court over wind energy in Tuscola County

The suit seeks to restrain Talaski and Zbytowski actions as planning commission members until the court takes action. Visiting Circuit Judge Kenneth Schmidt decided Talaski and Zbytowski could remain on the board with stipulation of a moratorium that no decision on wind energy development be made until Tuscola County Circuit Judge Amy Grace Gierhart can preside.
30 Mar 2017

Second lawsuit filed with connections to Tuscola III wind project

The suit essentially claims a systematic effort has been underway to “kill” the planned Tuscola III project, starting with the formation of the Ellington-Almer Township Concerned Citizens (EATCC) group, continuing with the election of several group members last November, and culminating with a one-year moratorium on wind projects and denial of special-land use permit (SLUP) by the board in January. An answer hasn’t been filed to the complaint as of press time.
22 Mar 2017

NextEra sues township over wind farm

Almer Township and its Board of Trustees face a federal lawsuit by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC over a proposed wind energy development. Tuscola Wind III LLC is seeking a court order to compel the township, located north of Caro, to allow development of a wind farm to proceed.
24 Feb 2017

Federal lawsuit filed against Almer Township over wind project

The suit essentially claims a systematic effort has been underway to “kill” the planned Tuscola III project, starting with the formation of the Ellington-Almer Township Concerned Citizens (EATCC) group, continuing with the election of several group members last November, and culminating with a one-year moratorium on wind projects and denial of special-land use permit (SLUP) by the board in January.
18 Feb 2017

New wind generators a no-go in the U.P.

Attempts by Heritage Sustainable Energy to build a second wind farm in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have stalled because the company skipped essential paperwork. That’s why the state Court of Appeals refused to clear the way for the Traverse City-based company to build a controversial 42-turbine wind farm in Schoolcraft County’s Inwood Township. Heritage intended to start with 18 turbines and work up to 42.
15 Dec 2016

Consumers Energy taking Tuscola Co. to court over wind turbine taxes

With Consumers’ new petitions, the assessed tax value of “most, if not all” wind turbines in Tuscola County are being contested by the wind energy companies, said Mike Hoagland, controller, Tuscola County. “We’re frustrated,” said Hoagland. “If we lose the dispute, we have to have the money set aside to pay it back.
18 Jun 2016

Judge rules against wind company

A Sanilac County judge will not force a township planning commission to hold a public hearing this summer on a wind company’s special land use application. Exelon had filed the complaint 10 days after the planning commission voted to table a public hearing on Exelon’s application for a special land use permit for its planned development, Michigan Wind 3.
25 May 2016

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