BAD AXE – The Huron County Board of Commissioners voted 6-0 on Tuesday in favor of removing two parcels of land from the Pheasant Run Wind Energy Overlay District in Sebewaing Township.
The two parcels belong to Charles Bumhoffer, 3195 Gettel Road, and amount to about 60 acres of land.
The decision follows a Huron County Planning Commission public hearing on Oct. 3.
Jeff Smith, Huron County director of Building and Zoning, said that Bumhoffer was insistent at the meeting that he did not want to participate in wind energy.
“He doesn’t want any part of it,” Smith said. “He’s not comfortable with wind energy, and does not want his property in the wind overlay district.”
Smith said that the proximity of potential wind turbines to Bumhoffer’s property will not change significantly, and that Bumhoffer was made aware of that at the Oct. 3 meeting.
“The distance from Mr. Bumhoffer’s property (to the nearest possible wind turbine) would typically be … 1 and 1/2 times whatever the height of the wind turbine is,” Smith said. “However, now that he’s out, it will be two times the hub height.”
In other words, if a wind turbine has a height of 300 feet, it would now need to be at least 600 feet away from Bumhoffer’s property rather than 450.
No turbines have gone up in the district yet. Smith said the decision will not significantly change the district, as it still has about 8,000 acres to locate wind turbines.
“We do this as a planning area only,” Smith said. “We could have this area for 30 years without one (wind) turbine on it. The developer looks at this plan, and says, ‘All right, I can start working with all these property owners to get leasing agreements established and try to come up with a design of a park.’ It gives them the planning area to start spending the money on. They don’t want to come over here (pointing to a different part of a map) and plan where they can’t even have wind (power).”
Smith said that other property owners looking to get out of the district would need to have a public hearing and pay a $400 zoning amendment application fee.
The board also accepted the retirements of two county employees at the meeting.
Roxanne Errer will retire from the position of administrative assistant in the building and zoning offices, effective Nov. 30, and Gary Polega will retire as sergeant in the Huron County Sheriff’s office, effective Oct. 31.
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