CASS CITY – Although there is no wind farm development planned in the near future in Novesta Township, some land owners have been contacted by solar companies about development.
Because of that, the township’s planning commission recommended a resolution for a moratorium on wind farms and solar farms as well as on Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) businesses for nine months (or until the planning commission updates it current zoning ordinance).
The board acted upon a recommendation by Attorney Brian Garner.
“The township is in the process of doing an update on the zoning ordinances to address wind, solar and MMA,” said Clerk Joann Peters. “The moratorium will give us time to develop ordinances to address those issues. We’ve learned from other townships that you just can’t zone to keep them out, but regulations can be set that have to be met.”
There will be a planning commission meeting at 7:30 p.m. April 4 at the Cass City Gun Club, 2676 N. Englehart Road, Cass City, which is where the township hosts meetings because they don’t have a hall.
“Solar farm development is being considered here,” Peters said. “There are five property owners on the southeast side of the township that have been contacted.”
Some landowners in Almer Township and Ellington Township are also among those who have been contacted for solar development, and a wind farm is also being planned in those two townships.
Peters takes issue personally about the moratorium.
“Some have a real issue about any kind of change in the township … especially wind and solar development. They don’t want commercial zoning or any industrial zoning, and yet they want (services) and a new township hall,” said Peters about input by audience members at township meetings. “We have no tax base. You need to have a tax base for money to do things.”
Currently, the only solar farm in Tuscola County is a $2.5 million, 665-kilowatt project at 2437 East Dayton Road in Wells Township that was developed in 2014 in a partnership between DTE Energy and Thumb Electric Company.
Plus, some farm operations throughout the county have solar panels to generate power for their own use.
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