BAD AXE – County planners are moving forward with their request to extend the county’s wind moratorium after an outcry from residents opposing more wind turbines.
“We’ve got enough of them,” Sherman Township resident Richard Stein told Huron’s planning commission Wednesday night.
Planners hosted a public hearing for a request to extend the Huron County Wind Moratorium during this week’s meeting.
The wind moratorium went into effect March 1, 2018, and was set to stay in effect for one year or until the point when the Huron County Master Plan is updated to address wind energy systems – whichever comes first.
The master plan provides general zoning guidance.
Planning Chairman Robert McLean said the Huron County Board of Commissioners asked planners to stop working on, modifying or updating the wind ordinance last June.
“We have adhered to that,” McLean said. “We told them at that point in time there very well could be a time come when we need to extend this moratorium due to the loss of time to work on that topic.”
“That time has now come before us and that is why we are asking for this extension,” he added.
McLean then opened the meeting up for public comment.
“I have quite a time figuring out why, when people would vote 2 to 1 not to have the wind turbines, they’d keep on whipping on this old, dead horse,” Stein later said. “ … Listen to what the people want.”
“Why are we the poster child for the wind turbines?” he asked.
There currently are 472 wind turbines operating in Huron County.
Meade Township residents Sally Kain and Rita Parsch were concerned for the public’s health and safety when referencing wind turbines.
“We need to protect the people,” Kain said.
Dennis Laceski, of Lincoln Township, referred to recent election results as he addressed planners. In May 2017, voters in county-zoned municipalities turned down two new wind energy developments.
“It seems that it’s not being absorbed, what the results were,” Laceski said. “What part of ‘no’ don’t the commissioners and planning people understand? It’s kind of simple, but it doesn’t seem to be getting translated into that message.”
“What was the purpose of having an election if you’re not going to go by what you got the results from?” he questioned. “It’s just a lot of BS.”
Planner Bernie Creguer said the wind subcommittee, which he sat on, was progressing quite well when they were told to stop working on wind.
“I think if we would’ve kept going, this would’ve been done by now,” Creguer said.
“I don’t have a problem doing that subcommittee again, but the message we got from home office was ‘cease and desist,’” McLean said.
Following a 7 to 1 vote, with Creguer opposing, the planning commission approved to submit its request to the Huron County Board of Commissioners. However, it’s unclear if the request will be on the agenda at Tuesday’s meeting.
The board of commissioners are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. in Room 305 of the Huron County Building.
Planner Terry Heck was absent from Wednesday’s meeting.
In neighboring Tuscola County, Consumers Energy will soon start construction of Phase III of Cross Winds Energy Park in Columbia Township. There will be 33 new turbines built in the township.
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