PIERSON TOWNSHIP – The Pierson Township Planning Fee with the assistance of a employed planner took the primary steps to create a photo voltaic vitality ordinance final Wednesday evening.
All seven members of the Planning Fee have been current: Chairman Tyler Lecceadone, Jason Bergman (who’s a township board trustee and the PC liaison to the township board), Paul “Chip” Dunneback, Donna Ericksen, Patrick Maioho, Jeff Smith and Dave Tibbe . Additionally current have been Zoning Administrator Lance Gates and the city’s employed planner, Kevin Yeomans of Recent Coast Planning in Grand Haven. Just one resident attended with the Day by day Information.
The Pierson Township Board voted earlier this month to place a four-month moratorium on photo voltaic tasks.
Yeomans informed the Planning Fee that his aim was to get some preliminary suggestions from them and he additionally gave them an info packet ready by Michigan State College and the College of Michigan.
“They’ve lots of good provisions that assist shield that land,” Yeomans mentioned. “The one caveat that I am positive you are conscious of is that I went and sat in on a presentation given by universities they usually have been pro-support for photo voltaic and agriculture, so a few of that language was written to assist that. Should you do not, if you wish to see it in business or industrial or a unique kind of district, we are able to change that language to match.
“Our grasp plan particularly states that the town’s aim is to protect the land as a lot as potential,” Gates informed the Planning Fee. “So do not forget that. We have to work on that grasp plan. The principle aim is to protect ag. Now what it appears like is what it’s worthwhile to speak about.
“We have already had individuals in our metropolis approached about attempting to signal leases with firms,” Gates added. “So we wish to get to it now. That is the reasoning. We have to know what it should seem like earlier than it occurs. There are cities in our county that aren’t zoned and no matter they get as a result of they not zoned. That is our likelihood to form what this can seem like in our personal metropolis.”
Wednesday’s assembly resulted in planners (largely) agreeing that they wish to limit photo voltaic farms to business and industrial districts and never enable them in agricultural districts.
“I agree about desirous to protect ag,” Maioho mentioned. “It is higher that I do not see it in ag. Utilizing it as a principled use of promoting energy turns into a unique challenge and that is the place the mounts actually concern me. It might probably eat lots of land. We have already talked about accent buildings — we do not need individuals filling in their very own property and ruining it, for lack of a greater time period. I do not see why we might do this for business and industrial with floor mounted photo voltaic.
“We additionally must do not forget that we will not utterly ban it,” Lecceadone replied. “As a planning physique, now we have to agree on one thing. Property homeowners ought to have much less rights. A farmer with 300 acres – how can we come to just a little compromise ? If we inform Farmer Joe that he can disperse them inside 32 % of his land — I do not suppose anyone’s going to leap up and say that is dangerous. I am simply making one % — 100% all of us say that all of us have a difficulty, however the 32 %, we are able to say that eh, take into consideration how we are able to unfold it.
“The massive suggestions I’ve gotten is that not one of the huge farmers in our space wish to cowl their land with photo voltaic panels as a result of that is their bread and butter (farming),” Bergman mentioned. .
“I feel they’re ugly and I do not wish to see them – they must be hidden,” Ericksen added.
“As somebody who actually believes in conserving our land, I do not perceive how this may profit the neighborhood,” mentioned Maioho.
“No – it is a government-supported mission,” Bergman mentioned.
“I do not see that the sacrifice of our land is a return of energy,” mentioned Maioho.
“So with this ordinance we not must approve agricultural land – we are able to enable photo voltaic farms in a business and industrial space,” Bergman defined. “I imply a photo voltaic farm is a business enterprise. I feel it is solely truthful that we put it in a business district.”
“I’ve heard that argument lots – it is a business use, why not put it in a business space?” Gates agreed.
“To be a satan’s advocate, you are going to face rezoning points,” Lecceadone identified.
“I am in search of a farmer who will convert his land to business or industrial,” Bergman replied.
“I feel we have to take a look at landlord rights as properly,” Lecceadone mentioned. “I feel we have to see what agriculture appears like earlier than we exit and say no. I feel we have to do our due diligence to say if we will do that in agriculture, what’s going to it seem like? That is additionally a safety in opposition to lawsuits which have come in opposition to us that say we’re too strict. We do not wish to be too strict.”
“I need the utmost to the minimal quantity that we are able to enable,” Maioho mentioned. “If it is 100 hectares and we are able to say 10 % with no problem, it is 10 %. If now we have to say 15 %, what’s it. I do not wish to restrict individuals, however I wish to stop individuals from overdoing it.
Wednesday’s assembly ended with Bergman, Lecceadone and Maioho agreeing to kind a committee with Gates to work on a photo voltaic ordinance with Yeoman with the aim of bringing a draft ordinance to a public listening to. listening to in March.
The Planning Fee additionally voted to set their assembly schedule for the yr. All conferences start at 7 pm on Thursday: Feb. 23, March 23, April 27, Could 25, June 22, July 27, August 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 26 and Nov. 30.