PALMYRA TWP., Mich. —
The Palmyra Township Board concluded its review of the wind turbine ordinance developed by the township planning commission. However, no vote was taken on the measure at the special board meeting Thursday.
Supervisor Jim Isley said he will put together the notes gathered from the special meetings and make the report available to anyone who wishes to receive a copy. The board will have its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, and will discuss the possibility of another special meeting to work on the ordinance.
The board has a public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 13. Comments from the public will be heard on the proposed ordinance. No timetable for approving the ordinance has been set, Isley said at a previous meeting.
Thursday, the board discussed various fees the wind turbine developers would be required to pay to the township and to residents. The physical appearance of the turbines was also discussed, as were the setback, noise and shadow flicker regulations.
One point of contention was the setback requirement. As drawn up, the ordinance would require a turbine to be no less than 1,320 feet from an inhabited structure. Planning Commission Chairman Jim Leonard was asked why the setback was not from the property line.
“We chose to do it from the dwelling,” he said. “What we were concerned about was if (the developers) would put up smaller wind turbines, towers.”
Leonard said the planning commission relied on a lot of written documentation on setbacks. He said it was difficult to find an unbiased opinion.
The ordinance mandates a turbine be set back from the nearest public road no less than two times its total height or four times its height from U.S. 223.
As for the noise level, the ordinance said the wind turbine may not exceed 50 decibels at any inhabited structure. The turbine will also not be installed in any location where it might interfere with reception for radio, television, personal and public alarms, wireless telephones or any other personal communication system.
The ordinance stipulates that shadow flicker is not to exceed 30 hours per year unless the affected property owner provides written permission. The turbine operator will be required to submit annual inspection and operations reports to the township.
Palmyra is among the Lenawee County townships Great Lakes LLC has selected for siting a series of wind turbines. The energy generated by the turbines would be sold to Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison.
Riga Township has approved a wind turbine ordinance. However, a referendum vote has been brought to the November general election following a petition drive.
Great Lakes Wind is affiliated with Exelon Wind, a division of Illinois-based Exelon Power. The firm will host an open house from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Blissfield American Legion, 451 High St.