BAD AXE – County planners will discuss Wednesday evening whether to take action on a proposed wind overlay district that has been a source of contention for residents and officials for nearly eight months.
First proposed in February, the district covers 39,000 acres, mostly in Lincoln Township, as well as in Dwight, Bloomfield and Sigel townships.
The Planning Commission first recommended the wind farm for approval to the Huron County Board of Commissioners in July in a 7-2 vote.
Just before its scheduled vote, the board sent the issue back to the planning commission upon hearing that Lincoln Township was establishing its own planning commission, and had imposed a moratorium on wind development.
Lincoln Township wanted to be pulled from the overlay zone.
In August, the board gave the county planning commission 60 days to address the issue.
At September’s meeting, county Corporate Counsel Steve Allen advised that the commission not act, so that the county doesn’t “get in their way” of creating township zoning procedures.
He said the county was preempted when the township passed its ordinance.
The county planners are also scheduled to review Sand Beach Township’s revisions to its wind ordinance.
The new ordinance would create noise restrictions on wind turbines.
NextEra Energy Resources officials have said this would essentially ban wind turbines in the township.
Another wind overlay zone is being proposed by NextEra, which would cover county-zoned townships of Sigel and Sherman. This park will also include turbines in Sand Beach Township.
There will be a public hearing on the overlay zone for Sigel and Sherman townships at 7 p.m. Oct. 19. at the Huron County Expo Center.
Other items on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting include:
• A root-cause analysis by DTE Energy for a turbine blade failure.
• Presentation of the Thumb Wind Parks post-construction wildlife survey, also by DTE.
• Huron County Master Plan updates will be addressed, and the deadline for the current master plan survey is Oct. 15.
• Several applications for Public Act 116 (farmland preservation) will be reviewed.
The commission will meet at 7 p.m. in the Huron County Building, District Court Room 105.
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