2017-01-12 / Community

Wind main topic at planning meeting

By John Bonke
Staff Writer • jbonke@mihomepaper.com • 810-452-2668

HURON COUNTY — While the bulk of the Huron County Planning Commission meeting focused on wind energy, two other matters required attention.

The commission approved Ace- Saginaw Paving’s request to construct a 20-foot-by-36-foot asphalt heating and storage building at 2747 Priemer Road in Ubly on agricultural zoned land. Representatives of the Saginawbased firm said during the meeting that building will shelter existing equipment and offer protection from the elements. The plans will now be reviewed by Building & Zoning.

Wallace Stone Quarry, located near Bay Port, wishes to expand, but some bordering neighbors have questions.

Planning Commission Chairman Clark Brock said that the company should meet “face-to-face” with the neighbors. In fact, the commission passed a motion requesting that the company meet with residents prior to the next planning commission meeting.

No action was taken by the commission on its review of the company’s Special Approval Use Permit - SAP2016-01 by Burroughs Materials Corp. Wallace Stone Quarry. No company representatives were present during the Wednesday, Jan. 4 meeting at the Huron County Building.

The rest of the meeting focused on alternative and green energy generation, specifically that provided by wind turbines.

The commission discussed the passage of Michigan Senate Bill 438, which amends Clean & Renewable Energy Act. On Oct. 6, 2008, Public Act 295 was signed into law. It established a Renewable Energy Standard for the State of Michigan, requiring Michigan electric providers to achieve a retail supply portfolio that includes at least 10 percent renewable energy by 2015.

Brock said the bill would require 35 percent renewable energy credit portfolio in various combinations by 2025.

The bill states, “as a goal, not less than 35 percent of this state’s electric needs should be met through a combination of energy waste reduction and renewable energy by 2025.”

Brock also noted that SB438 also requires: 10 percent in a provider’s renewable energy credit portfolio by 2018; 12.5 percent during 2019-2021; and 15 percent by 2021.

Brock reported that 84th District Rep. Ned Canfield (R-Sebewaing) voted yes and 25th District Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair Twp.) voted no.

In other business, Sherman Township notified the board that it is developing its own ordinances and plans to remove itself from the umbrella of county zoning. Brock the notification was a formality, as the township does not need the county’s approval to create a planning commission take control of its own zoning rules.

NextEra Energy reported on its efforts in resolving two complaints regarding shadow flicker. The board noted that the company’s report noted that sound measurement was performed an outside contractor, Epsilon, although it is not required.

Huron County Building & Zoning Department Director Jeff Smith informed the board about World Health Organization noise standards regarding wind turbines. Smith said that he feels that there has been confusion as there are different levels set for day and night inside and outside, as well as one-time peak event levels and that some people may think that there is just one set of numbers.

Brock said that the planning commission has used WHO standards in developing its ordinances.

The commission set meetings for Wednesday, Jan. 25 in the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room on the third floor of the county building in Bad Axe: bylaws at 5:30 p.m., with a workshop meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

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