Renewable Energy, Communities and Change

By
Education & Training with GLREA

Last week I wrote a 4 part series Renewable Energy - Does Your Zoning Allow It?

 

On Thursday September 27 the Onekama Township Zoning Board reconvened to make a motion on this Request for Conditional Zoning.

board meeting

In a 5 - 2 vote the board carried a motion to recommend to the Township NOT to take action until the Planning Commission has time to take a look at the issues more deeply.

Dave Smeltzer, Chairperson of the Onekama Township Planning Commission, did a good job explaining that this Conditional Zoning request has brought to light greater issues.

Dave explained the Resort Residential Zoning (RR3) language regarding wind turbines was established mainly with Commercial Wind Turbines and Farms in mind. He also pointed out there is a difference in land use in the northern RR3 district and the properties around the lake zoned RR3. Quite possibly, as they look into the issues further, they may find that a new zoning district needs to be established s they are not trying to "cram in too many things that don't fit."

Dave also referenced the larger issue that was exposed - process issues.

 

upside down house

Board member Dan commented that the township does not have a good definition of wind turbines, location, placement and size. He explained there are models that have been researched by others to follow.

Onekama Township expressed the desire review the research that has been done and set up an ordinance that is a Model for Others To Follow. The commission does not want to make a ruling just to correct or fix a problem, they want to make the house right.

In my opinion, the Onekama Township Board has taken a good course of action that will have a greater affect on their community and ultimately the renewable energy movement as a whole. In this effort to bring Renewable Energy into acceptable practice we must be careful not to turn our house upside down!

 

Comments (17)

Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Hey Mary,  that's good.  It sounds like they are on the right track and wanting to learn more.  That's good news on a Monday Morning!
Oct 01, 2007 02:49 AM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!
Hi Stephanie - I thought so as well. Communities need to be able to adapt to our ever changing world!
Oct 01, 2007 02:58 AM
Ann Heitland
Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties - Flagstaff, AZ
Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales
Our County Board of Supervisors is about to adopt an amendment to allow the smaller turbines designed for individual homes. They are manufactured here in Flagstaff by Southwest Wind Power.
Oct 01, 2007 03:52 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor
Sounds like positive changes are taking place!!!
Oct 01, 2007 05:39 AM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!

Ann - I hope they are crossing their t's and dotting their i's!!! Good amendment to be followed! What will happen at the local levels or will the county legislation cover that?

Southwest Wind Power makes a good product. Also check out SkyStream and Bergey -- these are also great manufacturers! Nice that yours are being made so close! How many people does the company employ locally? Would you be able to tour the manufacturing facility? That would be cool to see!

Oct 01, 2007 09:44 AM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!
B & BJ - Yes, it sounds positive. I am certain it will be a step in the right direction and it is glad to see the board is being sensible about resolution and looking at this on a larger scale that just one wind generator. All the board members have expressed interest in having one of their own!
Oct 01, 2007 09:46 AM
Gary Smith
Agent Marketing Today - Commerce Township, MI
Mary,  I hope things work out.
Oct 01, 2007 01:27 PM
Joan Mirantz
Homequest Real Estate - Concord, NH
Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire
Hi mary...Finally  a town with some vision!  Now how many left to go??
Oct 01, 2007 03:40 PM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!
GARY - yes, this will be one to watch! Thanks for your interest!
Oct 01, 2007 11:10 PM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!
Joan - some need to be forced to put their glasses on! Hopefully they take advantage of all the assistance that has been offered by professionals who have studied this and develop a plan that can grow with technology!
Oct 01, 2007 11:12 PM
Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin

Mary:

Great Post very good information. It will be interesting to see where this ends up I am sure it will have an affect elsewhere. Thank you for taking the time to post on my blog. Have a great day.

Oct 03, 2007 08:33 AM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!

Alan- you are welcome and thanks for reciprocating! I like knowing that our state has some progressive thinkers who are willing to consider change. I like the quote from Greenspan Homeowner Steve recited,

 

"If you try to preserve the past, you will not be able to produce the future."
Make it a great day!! 

 

Oct 03, 2007 08:44 AM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Mary...

This comment has nothing to do with this post :)

I just stopped by the tell you that I love your slogan...

"Mother Of Mortgages" ... "Just call me Mom"...

Great branding my friend :)

TLW...ROAR!

Oct 04, 2007 10:19 AM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!

TLW  :) thank you! it started as a joke and has pretty much stuck with me! Just call MA! It's almost as good as TLW.... ROAR!!!!

Thanks for the comment! 

Oct 04, 2007 12:35 PM
Ed Vogt
Midwest Properties of Michigan - Grandville, MI
Grandville, MI Midwest Properties
Hi Mary - So when is the township planning to give their final approval?  
Oct 05, 2007 11:44 PM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!
Hi Ed- they have recommended to the township no action be taken. They are going to take some time - 30, 60 days to look at zoning, etc and possibly recommend some changes to the zoning in the northern parts. The conditional rezoning likely will not be approved. The board made it clear that the township does not have to follow their recommendations. IMHO they will. 
Oct 06, 2007 02:33 AM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!

Adam - I'm glad you are able to go out in public again! You have called attention to some very important issues. What is scary is the stats Jennifer Alvarado of GLREA gave on Michigan facing an energy crisis by 2014. This is not something that can be put on the back burner very long and we need living public policies that can change.

Thanks for the info on Southwest and SkyStream.  As always, I appreciate your time to comment!

Oct 07, 2007 04:33 AM