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Make sure setbacks are safe  

Credit:  Huron Daily Tribune | Friday, March 6, 2015 | www.michigansthumb.com ~~

Apparently, the diagram that appeared in the Huron Daily Tribune has caused controversy. The article stated it was misinformation but would it have been so controversial – or even published – if one word would have been added?

When referring to parcels A, B, C, D and E, the diagram should have stated “he can no longer safely build within this circle.”

The County Master Plan’s purpose is to protect the health, safety and welfare of all Huron County residents. That is the sworn duty of all public servants.

The wind turbine manufacturer Vestas set safety standards for its maintenance personnel. Their safety manual states: “If a runaway operation should occur, the plant must be evacuated immediately by running upwind, and access to the surrounding area in a radius of at least 500 meters (1,640 feet) must be restricted.” But current Huron County zoning allows turbines to be constructed 1,320 feet from homes. This often turns significant portions of neighboring people’s property into evacuation zones.

The Tribune’s article states: “The zoning ordinance restricts placement of the wind turbine, but it does not restrict from building on their property as long as it complies with the ordinance. They can build there if they chose to.” Jeff Smith said he confirmed this with Steve Allen, the county’s corporate counsel.

Would that include leaseholders and non-leaseholders? If so, do non-leaseholders have to ask the developer’s permission to build on their own land?

Huron County’s wind zoning ordinance obviously contradicts published health, safety and welfare standards and thus places non-leaseholders at risk.

Is there an answer to something of this magnitude? Yes! Re-analyze the present ordinance while under a moratorium and then enact property line setbacks for wind turbines.

Finally, in a county that is mired in wind turbine controversy I believe all constituents should be treated fairly and no one should be referred to as an “anti-wind” constituent.

Louis J. Colletta

Lake Township

Source:  Huron Daily Tribune | Friday, March 6, 2015 | www.michigansthumb.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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