The second Zoning change made without without benefit of the State required public hearing. The first was including lower blade clearances.
The Initial Hearing notice for one public meeting did not include the additional changes, therefore was not sufficient for meeting legal requirements.
Township panel allows setback waiver for proposed wind farm
OCT 25, 2018 | JOSHUA VISSERS | MiningGazette.com
L’ANSE — Acting on a tweak in a zoning ordinance suggested by the developer of a proposed wind farm, the L’Anse Township Planning Commission voted Wednesday to send a third recommended change to the zoning ordinances to the Township Board.
The commission approved the change following a presentation from Sean Stocker, a project manager from Renewable Energy Systems (RES), which requested the change.
“I asked them to come and explain their reasoning for that,” commission chairman Roy Kemppainen said.
The change adds wording to the part of the zoning ordinance that dictates property line setbacks for wind turbines that allows setback waivers for participating properties in lease agreements or easements.
“It allows for a more efficient turbine layout, ”Stocker said.
All of the board members voted in favor of the recommendation except Joan Bugni, who was absent, and Kemppainen.
“I just don’t like changing a zoning ordinance if something can be done with a variance,” Kemppainen said.
A variance would allow an exception in the zoning ordinance with board approval. The requested change would allow an exception in the setback to be agreed upon by the two participating property owners without board involvement, and for any future projects. A participating property is a property involved in the wind farm project. Properties without turbines on them are defined as non-participating and setbacks for them are defined in a separate part of the ordinance.
“It doesn’t affect a non-participant,” Stocker said.
Participating property setbacks default to 1.5 times the total height of the turbine, and non-participating property setbacks are half a mile.
Stocker said they would have to seek five to seven variances if the change in ordinances was not adopted.
Michigan Zoning Notice and hearing requirements:
125.3103 Notice; publication; mail or personal delivery; requirements.
Sec. 103. (1) Except as otherwise provided under this act, if a local unit of government conducts a public hearing required under this act, the local unit of government shall publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the local unit of government not less than 15 days before the date of the hearing.
(4) A notice under this section shall do all of the following:
(a) Describe the nature of the request.
(b) Indicate the property that is the subject of the request. The notice shall include a listing of all existing street addresses within the property. Street addresses do not need to be created and listed if no such addresses currently exist within the property. If there are no street addresses, other means of identification may be used.
(c) State when and where the request will be considered.
(d) Indicate when and where written comments will be received concerning the request.
125.3202 Zoning ordinance; determination by local legislative body; amendments or supplements; notice of proposed rezoning.
Sec. 202. (1) The legislative body of a local unit of government may provide by ordinance for the manner in which the regulations and boundaries of districts or zones shall be determined and enforced or amended or supplemented. Amendments or supplements to the zoning ordinance shall be adopted in the same manner as
provided under this act for the adoption of the original ordinance.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3), the zoning commission shall give a notice of a proposed rezoning in the same manner as required under section 103.