Regarding wind turbines in Sherman Township, this writer spoke with the Michigan Township Association’s leading expert on zoning, and was advised that a mile or more wind turbine setback restriction could easily be interpreted as an effort on the part of a township to exclude wind energy from existing here. This advisor pointed out that a mile or more would, by its extreme distance, essentially eliminate the possibility of turbines being able to exist in our township. Not direct exclusion perhaps, but certainly indirect, in his opinion.
After this writer shared this information in the March 7, 2014, Speak Out, SOS pointed out that Centerville Township has been successfully restrictive with their zoning setback requirements for wind turbines. In examining Centerville Township’s ordinance, it was found that their setbacks were 10 times the rotor diameter (approximately 2,620 feet) from the property line of a non-participant. If in fact, Centerville Township was cited by SOS as being successfully restrictive and proven legal, then why is SOS insisting that Sherman Township use an extreme figure that doubles the Centerville Township setback with a demand of a mile or more? Also, why the need to try and unreasonably expect township officials take a chance at breaking the law? Do they want to set the board up for a lawsuit?
Finally, this writer’s last Speak Out was written primarily to accurately point out that the planning board was not ignoring the concerns of the SOS group, but rather had addressed those concerns and had certainly not demonized them in the process. If anything, any demonizing that may have occurred can be seen in SOS’s efforts directed toward township officials in the past recall election. Thank goodness the electorate recognized this as extreme and preserved the good people that are still on the board.
Ron W. Moesta
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