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Work continues on Palmyra Township wind ordinance


Work on crafting a wind turbine ordinance is continuing in Palmyra Township. The board had a special meeting Tuesday and will continue the work at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.

The Palmyra Township Planning Commission put together a draft ordinance that the township board is reviewing and amending. Supervisor Jim Isley said no timetable has been set for completion of the ordinance, but a public hearing has been set for 7 p.m. Oct. 13. The board will be listening to more public comment and input on the ordinance, which may not necessarily be completed by that date, Isley said.

“Anytime during the deliberations of the ordinance, we can hold a public hearing,” he said. “The planning commission is required to hold a public hearing. The township board can do it by option or at the request of a resident or property owner. One has been requested.”

Much of the discussion Tuesday dealt with what happens to the property after a wind turbine has been decommissioned. Planning commissioners James Leonard and Perry Pooley answered questions from the board about the planning commission’s work.

Questions about what the township could and could not mandate as a result of decommissioning were discussed. The eventual consensus was that everything above the ground would have to be removed, though the access road would belong to the property owner to do with as he or she sees fit.

“The intent is to give protection to the farmers and the landowners,” Leonard said.

The composition and responsibilities of a complaint resolution board was also discussed. As proposed by the planning commission, this board, which would handle complaints about the wind turbine operations, would consist of a township board member, a planning commission member, one qualified elector and two representatives of the wind energy facility.

Leonard said the make-up is based on a similar board operating in Huron County. Isley said that some of the questions that need to be resolved about the complaint resolution board are who makes the appointments and how will the duties of the township zoning administrator be incorporated into the application of the ordinance.