Our commissioners want to blame the state and federal government instead of accepting responsibility for what they have allowed to happen in Huron County. From 2005, when the first wind development began in Ubly, residents were voicing their concern and opposition to the inadequate regulations the county created with the help of the wind developer. The commissioners did not listen but were looking for the money. For the past 11 years, many concerned residents and several professionals have offered input, assistance and guidance to steer our County toward better regulations. The commissioners turned a deaf ear to all.
Here we are today with hundreds of wind turbines and our commissioners saying they can’t do anything about it. Nonsense! Schoolcraft County, Emmet County and Mason County were not afraid to adopt better regulations. Mason County, under their original wind ordinance, allowed construction of a 56 turbine development that resulted in a lawsuit by an adjacent property owner. That property owner now sits on the county planning commission and the county’s wind ordinance has been amended to include stronger regulations. Mason County likely will never see any more turbines built within its boundaries and they have not been sued. Neither has any other municipality that has adopted better and stronger zoning regulations across the state, which includes dozens of townships.
Nowhere in the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act does it state that our county shall zone for wind turbines. In fact, Section 125.3207 states that “A zoning ordinance or zoning decision shall not have the effect of totally prohibiting the establishment of a land use … in the presence of a demonstrated need …” Where is the demonstrated need for more? Both DTE and Consumers Energy have met the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 10 percent. So why do our commissioners continue to listen to poor legal advice when the tools are already in place to put a stop to the continued wreckage of Huron County?
Louis J. Colletta
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