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Palmyra Township residents to vote on wind turbine ordinance Tuesday

Palmyra Township residents will vote Tuesday, May 8, on the proposed industrial wind turbine zoning ordinance passed by the township board in October.

Voting will take place at the Palmyra Township Hall, 4276 Rouget Road, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. A “yes” vote would uphold the ordinance amendments and a “no” vote would repeal it.

If voters uphold Palmyra’s proposed ordinance, turbines could be placed less than 1,000 feet from the property line of a person who is not participating in the industrial wind project.

On Oct. 26, the township board approved amendments to the zoning ordinance regarding wind turbines. The amendments would require a setback from non-participating properties of no less than twice the height of the turbine. The maximum noise level of 45 decibels would be measured from any inhabitable building on a non-participating property. The ordinance was drafted in response to a proposed wind energy project for Palmyra, Riga and Ogden townships.

In November, a referendum vote in Riga Township upheld the wind turbine ordinance enacted in July 2010. An Ogden Township citizens committee has been weighing the benefits of a police power ordinance, which can take the place of zoning in special instances. Ogden Township has no zoning.
The Raisin Township Planning Commission is developing a wind turbine ordinance. On April 9, the measure was tabled until the May 14 meeting while waiting for a recommendation from the Lenawee County Planning Commission.

In January, officials from Great Lakes LLC, one of the groups that had been seeking to place wind turbines in Lenawee County, ended the company’s interest in building in the county because of the opposition. The company is now working with officials in Gratiot and Ionia counties on ordinances for the wind turbines.