CHESANING TWP. – During its Thursday, May 3 meeting, the Chesaning Township Board listened as guests Wesley Peterman of neighboring Maple Grove Township and Norm Stephens of Almer Township in Tuscola County talked about wind energy and how to protect Chesaning Township residents by writing a strong wind ordinance.
Stephens showed the council a drawing of a wind turbine from a wind turbine manufacturer’s manual. He explained that while townships have been writing ordinances with as much as a 1,400-foot setback for a 400-foot wind turbine, the manufacturer’s safety manual tells employees to get at least 1,600 feet away from a malfunctioning wind turbine.
Stephens also talked about a survey where a man visited several people who live at various distances to wind turbines. The survey asked residents, both wind contract owners and non-owners to rate how they feel about living near a wind turbine. He explained that complaints dropped off significantly between 2,000 and 2,500 feet from the windmill. Those living closer were far more likely to complain.
Stephens compared the affects of wind turbines on individuals to sea/motion sickness. “Some people are bothered a little, some a lot or not at all.”
Peterman said he lives one-half mile from Chesaning Township. “My biggest concern is property values. All my money is invested in my house,” he said. He also expressed concern about shadow flicker. “I don’t want any,” he said.
Peterman told the Chesaning Township Board that Tradewind Energy, the company leasing land in Chesaning Township is recommending 1,000 foot setbacks.
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