Shiawassee County Planning Commission passes ordinance to regulate wind energy

Published: May. 8, 2018 at 10:55 PM EDT
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(05/07/2018) - Shiawassee County moved one step closer to adopting an ordinance that would allow wind turbines.

The planning commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to pass an amended ordinance onto the full board of commissioners. But not before hearing from residents who have concerns about introducing wind turbines into Shiawassee County.

Some in the audience objected to a planning commissioner's line-of-questioning in regards to Kevon Martis, who was speaking out on behalf of the group the Regulated Wind of Shiawassee County.

Members of the planning commission amended the location and height restriction from 500 feet to 450 feet on wind turbines, a move that pleased Martis.

"We thought it was a fine deliberation," he said. "The folks are working hard to do the right thing for the people in their county. We will support every effort to support this really sound language all the way through the County Commissioner process."

A group of representatives from Tradewind Energy, who received a less than warm welcome from the crowd gathered inside the high school, believe the ordinance, which also places limits on noise, is still too restrictive.

"On the 450-foot, I understand that's what the townships were saying, but again that goes the opposite way of where it was," said Brad Pnazek, a senior development manager with Tradewind Energy.

If the ordinance is approved by the full board, Pnazek said they would still like to do business in Shiawasee County.

"Is there a possibility? Yes. You know, is there the will for it here, I mean that's the question that we'll find out," he said.

The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners will not discuss the ordinance until June or July.