Response to Heritage letter

EDITOR:

I am writing in response to Daniel Dalgord’s recent letter to the Daily Press regarding the Delta County zoning ordinance and the setback requirements the ordinance has established for wind turbines.

The existing zoning ordinance was last amended in 2015. The amendment process took well over one year of countless meetings, public hearings and discussions before it was adopted by the Delta County commissioners. To infer that the Delta County Planning Commission and county commissioners were overly influenced by local township officials in untrue and inaccurate.

In the end, the county officials listened to both sides and settled on what they thought was a reasonable ordinance and fair to everyone.

Here is where Mr. Dalgord’s letter contradicts the facts found in the zoning ordinance. The ordinance sets forth the setback from Non-participating (non-leased) lands as 1.25 times the height of a proposed turbine. Mr. Dalgord has rounded off the height of the proposed turbines to 500 feet, hence he indicates the setback is 625 feet from non-leased land. Once a turbine is installed, any unleased landowner has the right to do whatever he or she wants to do on their adjoining property so long as it meets the County’s zoning ordinance. There is no imaginary 695-foot setback that has been stolen from a landowner because of the zoning ordinance.

If Mr. Dalgord, Heritage or any other party would like to further amend or modify the document, the ordinance allows for that. It is easy for anyone to write letters and complain that elected officials stole property rights from landowners. The proper way to address your concern is to work to amend the existing ordinance to better suit your needs.

Bart Hautala

Operations Manager

Heritage Wind Energy

Traverse City