HURON COUNTY – The Huron County Planning Commission voted 6-3 in favor of a one-year moratorium on commercial wind development during a special meeting last Wednesday evening.
The recommendation will not impact the three wind parks currently in progress, which are owned by DTE Energy, NextEra Energy Resources and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power.
The Huron County Board of Commissioners is expected to address the proposal during its next regular meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27. The board of commissioners is not bound by the decision made by the planning commission.
Commissioners previously asked planners to review the prospect of a five year moratorium and make a recommendation.
Voting in favor of the proposal were Chairman Clark Brock and commissioners Mary Babcock, Robert Oakes, Carl Duda, John Nugent and Terry Heck.
Planning commissioners Jeffrey Krohn, Joel Weber and Bernie Creguer. voted against the moratorium.
Steve Allen, Huron County Corporation Council, addressed planners at the meeting, stating he drafted the proposed moratorium after a request by Commissioner Ron Wruble.
Allen said a break in wind energy development is allowed under the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. Both the county planners and commissioners have been split on future siting of turbines in the county, a feeling that is reflected in the community.
“There’s a sense of becoming overwhelmed,” he said.
The Huron County Board of Commissioners voted 4-3 to send the wind-energy moratorium proposal to the planning commission and request a recommendation by Dec. 28. The proposal called for the halt to last five years or until the board of commissions “obtains more definitive answers to the many issues related to large-scale wind energy systems, whichever occurs first.”
Clark Elftman, Richard Swartzendruber and John Bodis voted against the resolution.
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