BAD AXE – Pending a few changes, county planners are ready for the public to see proposed new regulations for wind turbines in Huron County.
A hearing is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 4. It will likely take place in a larger venue, like the Huron County Circuit Courtroom or Expo Center.
New rules proposed for building wind turbines in 16 townships under the county’s zoning jurisdiction would:
• Increase wind turbine setbacks from property, public roads and power lines
• Prevent turbines from being sited within three miles of the Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay shorelines
• Set lengthy methodology for sound regulations
• Limit turbine height to 499 feet
• Regulate shadow flicker
Following the hearing, planners are expected to either make a recommendation to county commissioners or table a decision. The Nov. 4 hearing comes after a moratorium preventing new wind energy projects in the 16 townships expires.
Planners, working with wind developer-hired sound consultants and an independent acoustics firm, have made several changes since the initial draft – mostly in the largest section, on sound. They vary from semantics – changing turbine “noise” references to “sound” – to technical modifications for measurements.
Jeff Smith, the county’s building and zoning director, says the draft ordinance of new rules will be posted in the county building and on its website. People also will be able to get a printed copy at Smith’s office or by email, which he said would be easiest.
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