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Saugatuck Township considers noise and complaints in wind ordinance

Saugatuck Township, MI —

Saugatuck Township Planning Commission members continued discussing a proposed wind turbine ordinance Monday, Feb. 28.

The commission will continue talking about noise limits, tower set-back rules and enforcement options at the next meeting at 7 p.m. March 28 at the township hall, 3461 Blue Star Highway.

The commission has been working on the ordinance that regulates tower height, noise, flicker and safety for wind towers and turbines since November 2009.

“This has been a marathon,” said planning commission Chairman Larry Edris, noting the commission has held two public hearings on the ordinance. At a January hearing, several residents opposed a possible wind farm in the southern area of the township.

The Holland Board of Public Works is considering a possible wind farm with 10 turbines in the township.

The proposed ordinance allows towers up to 500 feet tall. Those towers would have to be 1,000 feet from a neighboring property line, though a developer could get easements from adjoining properties to allow the towers to be closer.

Noise levels are also being discussed.

“The industry is trying ti make these as quiet as they can,” Daniel Nally, BPW business services director, said about the turbines.

The township is also looking at how to handle complaints about turbines. One method the commission is considering requires the person filing a complaint to pay $250. The money will be returned if the complaint is valid.