CORUNNA – Mike Rock of Hazelton Township is hoping to see a referendum to overturn amendments to the county’s zoning ordinance regulating wind turbines, and will seek signatures in an effort to get the issue placed on the November ballot.
Officials with the Shiawassee County Clerk’s Office said Rock filed the paperwork necessary to seek a referendum Tuesday. He has 30 days from the date the ordinance was published in local newspapers, June 24, to collect the required signatures.
Rock has to collect at least 2,038 signatures to get the issue placed on the ballot, officials said. That figure is based on 15 percent of all votes cast for governor in the 2014 gubernatorial election in 14 out of 16 townships in Shiawassee County – excluding Owosso and Caledonia townships. Those townships are excluded because they handle their own planning and zoning requests, officials said.
The signatures need to be of registered voters from the 14 townships.
Officials said if enough valid signatures are accumulated, voters in the affected jurisdictions will decide whether or not to shelve the amendments passed by the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners earlier this month. For the next 30 days, the amendments are on hold. If Rock is not able to gather enough signatures, the regulations will go into effect.
Among the rules adopted by commissioners:
n The acceptable noise level produced by a turbine was set at 45 decibels, measured from a “non-participating” property line – meaning property for which the owner has not signed an agreement with a company.
n A wind turbine must be set back 350 percent of its height from the property line of a non-participating owner.
n Turbines have to be designed, placed and operated in a way that does not produce “shadow flicker” on a non-participating parcel of land.
n A wind turbine can be no taller than 450 feet.
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