OLIVER TOWNSHIP – Detroit Edison is moving forward with its plans for what is being called the Pinnebog Wind Park to be located in Chandler, Colfax and Oliver townships.
DTE Project Engineer Paul Funk updated the Oliver Township board and told them that information had been given to engineers so that they can complete noise, wildlife and flicker studies.
Funk told the board that DTE hopes to put together a full application and have a electronic version ready by the end of this month. He added that DTE further hopes to have a hard copy to the Oliver Township Planning Commission by the first part of November.
However, Funk said, the project would need to have applications with all three townships involved.
At the meeting, Funk explained that DTE is seeking waivers from some participating landowners with turbines being considered to site them closer to property lines than may be governed by the local ordinance. He said that the Oliver Township ordinance doesn’t specify whether applicable language pertains to participating landowners. The sites are farm fields and Funk said that DTE is trying to preserve farmland.
Oliver Township Planning Commission Planning Chairman Brion Dickens said that if both landowners involved are participating then the site could be considered contiguous. Dickens added that the planners are looking into modifying the ordinance to avoid siting turbines in the middle of a farm field.
Funk also said that because of recent action in neighboring Meade Township, the ‘Pinnebog project’ is “denser.” In May of this year, Meade Township residents voted to overturn their board’s decision, made in November 2013, approving an overlay district to allow DTE to move forward with plans to construct 65 turbines in Meade and Colfax townships.
Speaking later in the meeting regarding county zoning, District 4 Commissioner Rich Swartzendruber, said the county planning commission is entering the final stages of drafting changes to its wind energy ordinance.
Swartzendruber, who represents Chandler, Colfax, Meade and Oliver townships, said he hopes that the county planning commission will set a public hearing yet this month. He added that if all goes well, the rules could reach the county board of commissioners level by their Oct. 27 regular meeting.
What: Proposed wind park. Where: Chandler, Colfax and Oliver townships. Details: The project is DTE’s solution to not being able to site turbines in Meade Township.
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