BAD AXE – A hearing next week could be the final chance for residents to help decide whether to impose a moratorium that would put a stop to wind energy development for up to six months in 16 county-zoned townships.
The public hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in the circuit court room in the Huron County Building (Room 207).
County commissioners are scheduled to make a final vote regarding a moratorium on wind development after two public hearings, one requested by DTE Energy and another called for the general public afterward.
Those in favor of a moratorium include a mix of residents, township supervisors, county officials and wildlife advocates. Some cite a need for stricter or revised regulation, noise and shadow flicker complaints and aesthetic values of the county’s landscape.
Those opposed to a moratorium include residents with and without wind leases, local businesses, some township and county officials, and developers.
They cite landowners’ rights, wind energy’s boon to the local economy and supplemental income for leaseholders.
Board Chair John Nugent, who brought the idea to the table in December and sought a Grand Rapids attorney in drafting legal documents, said the purpose of the moratorium is not to harm anyone, but “to give the subcommittee adequate time to revise what we know is a defective (wind) ordinance.”
“We’re trying to do this in the best interest of everyone,” Nugent previously said.
A March 4 hearing about a moratorium packed about 150 people in the Huron County Circuit Courtroom. There, planners voted 5-4 against imposing a moratorium.
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