December 4, 2013, Minutes
Huron County Planning Commission
A meeting of the Huron County Planning Commission was held on December 4, 2013, in the Huron County
Board of Commissioners Room, Room 305, County Building, Bad Axe, MI 48413. 1. Call Meeting to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chair, Clark Brock, at 7:00 p.m. Recording Secretary, Brenda
Stomack, called the roll of members: Roll call - Members present: Bernie Creguer, Carl Duda, Richard
Swartzendruber, Ted Sheldon, Jeffery Krohn, Joel Weber, Clark Brock and Mary Babcock. Members
absent/excused: Dr. Robert Oakes. Others present: There were approximately twelve (12) people in
attendance, including: Jeff Smith, Planning/Building & Zoning Office Director and Brenda Stomack,
Planning/Building and Zoning Director, Jeff Smith, requested to amend the Agenda under Section 7,
Unfinished Business, Item D to read “Distribute executed copies of Big Turtle decommissioning
documents to PC members.” Member, Richard Swartzendruber, made a motion to approve the December
4, 2013, Agenda as amended. Motion was seconded by Member, Jeffery Krohn. Motion carried. 2. Approval of Minutes
The reading of the November 6, 2013, regular meeting minutes was waived. Member, Mary Babcock,
made a motion to approve, as presented, the November 6, 2013, regular meeting minutes. Motion was
seconded by Member, Carl Duda. Motion carried. 3. Public Comment
(Open Meeting Act.)
Mat Wagner, DTE Energy, gave updated report on Echo blade issue and an update regarding the annual
wind energy zoning compliance report. Chandler 84 has been shut down until the root cause of the blade
failures can be determined. GE is investigating all manufacturing data. There is no re-start date
scheduled as of yet. Eleven (11) Echo turbines are still not commissioned. The annual wind energy
zoning compliance report is being completed and should be available in one (1) week to ten (10) days.
Bob McLean, Paris Township Planning Commission member, gave brief introduction and requested the
floor under Section 8, New Business, to discuss documents he submitted to the Commission for review.
Commissioner, Dave Peruski, gave brief introduction and requested to comment on Section 7, Unfinished
Business, Item E, Exelon Generation annual wind energy facilities zoning compliance report. 4. Public Hearing
None. 5. Communications
A. Huron County Highway Engineer & Deputy Drain Commissioner, Gary Osminski, to discuss
drains, Right-of-Ways, Easements, MI Statutes, etc…. -Discussion took place regarding Huron County Road Commission policy for wind turbine projects as relates to the Road Commission. Mr. Osminski related that it has been a real learning curve for them. He discussed the bond/deposit policy that they require the wind developers to comply with as they do not charge wind developers for most permits. However Mr. Osminski did inform the Commission that there has been an increase in permits. He also discussed the Road Commission policy on road/route
December 4, 2013, Minutes
5. Communications Continued:
damage and related that in his opinion the concrete trucks cause more damage to the roads/routes than the overloaded semi’s hauling turbines. Any estimated road/route damage is deducted from the bond/deposit. If there is damage to a road/route that is a Township road/route, that money is set aside for that Township. Mr. Osminski discussed wind turbine access driveways and the fact most farmers want them to run parallel to the county drain right of way. He related that in those cases, an agreement is made between the wind developer and the property, that if and when the Road Commission has to perform maintenance on the county drain, any damage/costs to the access road running parallel to the County drain would be the responsibility of the land owner/wind developer. Discussion also took place regarding the location and depth of wind energy underground collection lines. The Road Commission has not allowed underground collection lines to run parallel the drain within the drain right-of-way, as it is a safety concern for the drain district, especially if they have to work on inlet pipes. -Member, Joel Weber, questioned the Road Commission policy on 40 foot width driveways and the size of culverts for such. Mr. Osminski discussed the top width maximum width limits and the Road Commission policy for those that do not comply or are grandfathered in. Member, Richard Swartzendruber, questioned why a 40 foot width limit and Mr. Osminski related for safety concerns. Chair, Clark Brock, questioned underground collection line markers, and Mr. Osminski confirmed markers are placed at the top of the drain on each side of the embankment where the collection line crosses the drain. -Member, Ted Sheldon, questioned fiber optic cable policy. Mr. Osminski indicated that bonds/deposits and permits are required for out of county contractors and once job is completed and approved by the Road Commission, the bond/deposit is returned to the contractor.
B. DTE/Barton Malow Echo Wind Project “Plan of the Day.”
C. Pheasant Run Wind/Blattner Energy “Plan of the Day.”
D. San Jose Mercury News article dated May 31, 2012 titled “Altamont Pass celebrates ‘repowering’
of wind farm. -Brief discussion. Read at leisure.
E. Huron County Road Commission multiple correspondences regarding drain work in Huron
County. -Brief discussion. Read at leisure.
F. North American Wind Power articled dated November 19, 2013 titled “Another GE Turbine
Blade Breaks Off, Leading To Further Investigation.” -Brief discussion. Read at leisure.
G. North American Wind Power articled dated November 25, 2013 titled “Duke Reaches $ 1 million
Settlement For Bird Deaths At Wind Farms.” -Brief discussion. Read at leisure.
H. North American Wind Power articled dated November 26, 2013 titled “Following Another Blade
Failure, GE Identifies ‘Suspect Population’ In Turbine Fleet.” -Brief discussion. Read at leisure.
6. Reports of Committees
December 4, 2013, Minutes
7. Unfinished Business
A. Continue effort of preparing Huron County Airport Zoning Ordinance pursuant to BOC
Resolution 11-198C. Provide Update. -Jeff Smith reported that the MDOT files he has were created in AutoCAD software. Lynn Smith, MDOT Aeronautics Division, has provided a link for Wade Trim staff and Huron County GIS to locate the raw data files. Mr. Smith is hopeful Wade Trim can use the file transfer site to create GIS shape files that will work on the Huron County system. Mr. Smith reported that Lynn Smith has reviewed the draft language of the Airport Zoning Ordinance and has made corrections/suggestions. Mr. Smith indicated that once he reviews the draft and corrections/suggestions, he will forward the same to the sub-committee for review.
B. Zoning Ordinance of Huron County. Continue with civil infraction issue draft.
-Jeff Smith reported that Corporate Counsel, Stephen Allen, is working on the draft. Mr. Smith reported that his goal is to hold one (1) public hearing in January or February.
C. Huron County Master Plan update. Waiting for additional proposals.
D. Distribute executed copies of Pheasant Run Wind I and II Big Turtle Decommissioning documents
E. Exelon Generation annual wind energy facilities zoning compliance report. Discuss deficiency
with sound report regarding Michigan Wind I, Harvest I, and Harvest II Wind farms. Request Exelon to revise compliance report per Huron County Zoning Ordinance provisions. -Commissioner, Dave Peruski, went over the Legislative Committee’s concerns with the zoning compliance report. Mr. Peruski indicated the set parameters are not followed or shown per the Huron County Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Peruski compared this report with the same type of report from John Deere and is indicating that the Exelon report is severely lacking in data. Mr. Peruski has requested the Commission require Exelon to submit a report similar to the format submitted by Epsilon Associates and that Exelon be present at a meeting. -Chair, Clark Brock, indicated that the Commission concurs with Mr. Peruski and that Jeff Smith will contact Exelon to indicate the concerns and requirements of Huron County in relation to their compliance report.
8. New Business
A. Robert McLean, Paris Township Resident, requesting discussion regarding Huron County Wind Ordinance
Sound Parameters. -Robert McLean gave introduction and reported his concerns he had with the Huron County Wind Ordinance Sound Parameters and Exelon zoning compliance report. Mr. McLean adamantly stated that it is wrong and it conflicts with standards created around the world. He indicated that the ordinance, if changed, would omit this cat and mouse game that the county is playing with the wind developers. He emphatically stated the Exelon report is truthfully nothing but wood stove starter. Mr. McLean indicated that his concerns lie in the following areas: 1) who are the foot soldiers indicated in the report. 2) measuring station time frames – physically impossible. 3) Peter Guldberg‘s sworn testimony. Mr. McLean indicated in his opinion the Commission should hire a third party to complete and prepare the sound report and bring Exelon into compliance.
December 4, 2013, Minutes
8. New Business Continued
-Jeff Smith indicated that it appears Peter Guldberg‘s sworn testimony in the Vermont court case is contradictory to what he reported in the past. Mr. Smith indicated the Huron County Wind Ordinance does not state the exact methods to be used for sound measurement, but the ordinance does state the audible noise or the sound pressure shall not exceed 50 dBA, for more than ten (10%) percent of any hour, for participating property owners and shall not exceed 45 dBA for more than ten (10%) percent of any hour, for non-participating property owners. The annual zoning compliance report shall confirm that the wind energy project complies with provisions of the ordinance, as well as all other applicable laws, and conformity with wind industry practices. -Chair, Clark Brock, indicated to Mr. McLean and the Commission that they would review the documents provided by Mr. McLean and take into consideration his concerns and opinions. Mr. Brock also indicated that it was already decided to not accept Exelon’s report and that Mr. Smith would be contacting Exelon.
B. Brookfield Township Clerk, Michael Lorencz, filed Claim of Appeal regarding Brookfield Township Court
Case in Michigan Court of Appeals, Case No. 13-105197-A-W. -Jeff Smith gave brief statement to Commission. No discussion.
C. Set regular Huron County Planning Commission meeting dates for 2014 Calendar Year.
-Motion was made by Member, Mary Babcock, to set the meeting dates for the calendar year 2014, for the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m., with the exception of the January meeting being held on Thursday, January 9th, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., due to the New Year holiday conflict. Motion was supported by Member, Carl Duda. Motion carried.
D. PA 116 Termination: None
1. Rochefort Farms LLC, Sec 24 Oliver Twp., 32 acres (31.72 cultivated) 0 bldgs., 10 years. 2. Rochefort Farms LLC, Sec 25 Oliver Twp., 40 acres (21 cultivated) 0 bldgs., 10 years. 3. Rochefort Farms LLC, Sec 25 Oliver Twp., 160 acres (140 cultivated) 0 bldgs., 10 years. 4. Keith Leipprandt, Sec 12 Caseville Twp., 60 acres (60 cultivated) 1 residence, 50 years. Discussion took place regarding PA 116 Applications above. It was moved by Member, Mary Babcock, and supported by Member, Ted Sheldon, to approve said applications. Motion carried.
9. Final Public Comment
Commissioner, Steve Vaughn, indicated that he concurred with Commissioner Peruski regarding the
Exelon compliance report and he also indicated that he had public safety concerns regarding M142 and
Pinnebog Road Four Way Stop Signs. Mr. Vaughn indicated he requested MDOT put up warning signs a
month ago and that did not happen and he was very concerned.
Commissioner, John Bodis, indicated that he concurred with Commissioner Peruski regarding the Exelon
compliance report and that he appreciated the continuing effort on the Airport Zoning Ordinance and he
also indicated that this has been an ongoing project since 2003. 10. Final Planning Commission Comment
Jeff Smith advised the Planning Commission of a Zoning Board of Appeals decision that is being appealed
to Circuit Court and that he is requested to be in court on December 16, 2013 at 2 p.m. Mr. Smith gave a
brief description of the Kucab Zoning Board of Appeals decision and the Planning Commission requested
an update, via e-mail, after the December 16th hearing.
December 4, 2013, Minutes
Being there was no further business to come before the Planning Commission, it was moved on a motion by
Member, Joel Weber, to adjourn the meeting and seconded by Member, Bernie Creguer. Motion carried.
Adjournment was at 8:20 p.m.
The next regular scheduled meeting will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., third floor BOC
Chambers, Room 305, County Building, Bad Axe, MI.
Clark Brock, Chairman
Date: P:\bldzone\Documents\PC Minutes December 4, 2013
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