Invenergy filed an application in August, with hopes of obtaining a special use permit from Livingston County, allowing it to the convert 58,000 acres of prime farmland into an industrial area. They have affectionately named the proposed rezoning of southeastern Livingston County the Pleasant Ridge Wind Energy Project. However, there have been developments regarding potential wind farms in our county since they applied.
The county has opened the existing wind ordinance for review and subsequent update. The agriculture and zoning committee is managing this process. With input from county residents, they will create an ordinance that protects property rights, health/safety and the economic viability of Livingston County.
On Jan. 15, the Livingston County Board voted to impose a six-month moratorium on new wind farm applications; no companies can apply from now until June. This step goes hand-in-hand with opening an ordinance for review. You can’t allow companies to apply under an ordinance that is deficient.
Invenergy’s application was filed under the old ordinance. Yes, the same ordinance that is now under review for deficiencies. However, a special use permit is still just that, special, not a done deal by any means. I believe that the County Board has an obligation to the residents and must vote no when the time comes. You cannot in good conscience construct a massive project under an ordinance that has now been deemed in need of review.
A vote of no seems like a no-brainer to me.
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