May 26, 2011

Blissfield Village Council asks for half-mile wind farm buffer

By Erik Gable, Daily Telegram, 25 May 2011

BLISSFIELD, Mich. – The Blissfield Village Council voted 4-2 on Monday to send letters to Ogden, Palmyra and Riga townships asking them to declare a buffer zone that would keep any wind farms from being established within a half-mile of the village limits.

Village administrator Jim Wonacott said the purpose of the request is to make sure the village has room to expand in the future.

Ogden Township does not have zoning, but Palmyra and Riga townships are considering setback requirements for wind turbines. The Blissfield Wind Energy Project, which is a partnership between Great Lakes Wind LLC and Exelon Corp., is requesting a setback distance of one-quarter mile between turbines and occupied residences.

If the townships require a minimum distance of one-quarter mile between turbines and homes, the village wants to make sure that doesn’t become a roadblock to future expansion. A half-mile buffer would give the village a quarter-mile of room to grow before potentially hitting any quarter-mile setback areas.

The board debated whether to ask for a half-mile or a one-mile buffer. Trustee Randy Kelley said he didn’t feel one mile would be unreasonable.

Village president Mike Gunter and trustees George Brown, Ray Jones and Art Weeber voted for the letter asking for a half-mile buffer. Kelley and trustee Al Navarro voted no.

Trustee Mark Burgermeister abstained.

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