ESCANABA – The Delta County Planning Commission set dates and times for a pair of public hearings on proposed wind turbine site plans during its regular meeting Monday.
In mid-October, the Delta County Building and Zoning Department received an application from Heritage Sustainable Energy for an addition to its existing wind farm on the Garden Peninsula. The application included more than 40 site plans for new wind turbines.
Each of the site plans will be individually reviewed by the planning commission.
“We do have an extensive application that has to be reviewed,” Delta County Building and Zoning Administrator Dan Menacher said. Once this is done, the commission will send its recommendations on to the Delta County Board of Commissioners.
Public hearings on the site plans will take place during the commission’s regular meeting on Dec. 4, along with a special meeting on Dec. 12.
“I don’t see (that) we’re going to get through this in one meeting,” Menacher said.
While the commission’s meetings typically begin at 6:30 p.m., the Dec. 4 and 12 meetings will run from 5 to 8 p.m. Both meetings will take place at the Delta County Courthouse.
Several residents of the Garden Peninsula voiced their concerns with Heritage’s plans in the area at Monday’s meeting. Bill Heffron said that, among other issues, he is wary of the number of turbines Heritage is looking to add to its Garden Peninsula wind farm.
“That is a huge impact on a very small community,” he said.
People in attendance at the meeting also spoke about their dissatisfaction with the county’s changes to the section of the zoning ordinance dealing with wind turbines.
“That ordinance never should have been the way it is,” Susan Rochefort said. “Seriously – we should never have been ramrodded to have to deal with what we are dealing with.”
In other business, the commission:
– voted to recommend to the Delta County Board of Commissioners that a parcel on highway US 2 in Rapid River be rezoned from C1 to C3. This would be done to allow for the development of storage buildings there.
– added a proposed amendment to its bylaws to the agenda for the Dec. 4 meeting. This amendment will formalize the commission’s public comment procedure, if approved.
– agreed to continue an ongoing discussion on the possibility of eliminating the TP zoning district in January 2018.
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