A big decision over whether to allow wind turbines is looming Monday in Bay County’s Monitor Township.
DTE Energy is considering a wind farm on land bordered by North Union Road, Townline Road and I-75. Neighbors are lining up against the proposal.
A group of concerned citizens has organized against the plans and placed dozens of yard signs reading “Too Tall, Too Close, Too Loud.”
Township Supervisor Ken Malkin said will ask for a moratorium on wind turbine permits and construction on Monday so the board can take a closer look at the ordinance and possibly make some changes.
“I think we need to revisit our setbacks,” he said. “We have something in there on shadow flicker, but I don’t think it’s sufficient.”
Neither does the concerned citizens group called Great Lakes Bay Region SOS. The group has laid out concerns on a website, featuring a case study in nearby Beaver Township where people who live there said no to a wind farm too.
But DTE Energy and supporters say the development would only add to the tax base.
“The biggest selling point that DTE promotes is that it would bring in revenues for us in the way of tax funds,” Malkin said. “The only problem is that is a slippery slope. One thing is, we have a very diverse township. We’re not hurting financially. We’re doing well.”
He said a lot needs to be changed in the section of the zoning ordinance that regulates wind energy. It was first adopted in 2009.
“We’ll probably want to revisit the – how loud they are – the decibel levels they have,” Malkin said. “We have them in there but they might want us to revisit that. One of the concerns that I have is that I don’t think they should be near populated areas and right now we have nothing in our ordinance that would assure the residents that that’s not going to happen.”
DTE has contacted land owners and also the township to let officials know the company is interested in properties. Malkin said DTE has purchased leases, but nothing more is in the works.
He expects about 300 people at the meeting Monday, which starts at 7 p.m. at the Monitor Township Hall.
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