Residents in five Isabella County townships resoundingly voted down proposals to form planning and zoning boards independent from the county in Tuesday’s primary.
High voter turnout in Denver, Gilmore, Isabella, Nottawa and Vernon townships —over 40 percent in some precincts— slapped down the proposals with margins of at least 2 -1.
Spurred by a vocal anti-wind farm contingent, ballot initiatives asking voters to establish those independent boards were accompanied by millages request to fund them if approved in Denver, Nottawa and Vernon Townships.
Those millage requests were also voted down by wide margins, including more than 5-1 against in Nottawa Township, where 40.3 percent registered voters cast a ballot Tuesday.
Voters in Wise Township —which already has an independent planning and zoning board— voted against establishing a special use permit for wind energy facilities 180 to 134.
“While I respect the opinion of those that wanted township planning in our community, it is very apparent by the overwhelmingly large turn out to vote and the 2 to 1 margin of the ballot proposals defeat that the majority of Denver Township citizens have no issue with the Isabella County planning and zoning system,” said Denver Township Supervisor John Pedjac Tuesday night.
Until this week contention in the townships over that proposed wind energy development saw Pedjac potentially facing a November recall vote.
On Monday, a circuit court ruled that the language of that recall petition was unclear and it will not be on the ballot.
“I think (the election results) are also a vote of confidence in the township board and how we’ve handled these issues to this point,” he said.
Planning and zoning proposal results from each township:
Denver – 40.4 percent voter turnout
Planning board proposal: 91 yes 232 no
Millage: 41 yes 279 no
Gilmore – 41 percent voter turnout
Planning board proposal: 124 yes 278 no
Isabella – 26.6 percent voter turnout
Planning board proposal: 180 yes 311 no
Nottawa – 40.3 percent voter turnout
Planning board proposal: 196 yes 490 no
Millage: 100 yes 557 no
Vernon – 41.1 percent voter turnout
Planning board proposal: 91 yes 308 no
Millage: 49 yes 348 no
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