Garden wind development

EDITOR:

Thirty-six building permits issued to Heritage Sustainable Energy for Phase II of its Garden wind development are being challenged in Michigan Court of Appeals by local residents who charge that the Delta County Planning Commission failed to uphold its zoning ordinance requirements.

According to court documents, Heritage did not furnish the required drawings and documentation to the planning commission, did not have the required FAA permits for the project and provided inaccurate noise studies, among other defects. The suit also alleges the Delta County Planning Commission failed to consider warnings from United States Fish and Wildlife Service and take into consideration the impact of the project on the Fayette Historic District. During public hearing on the permits, the Michigan DNR objected to the placement of multiple turbines within view of Fayette Historic State Park, which is home to several protected species including bald eagles.

The appeal hangs over Heritage’s recent announcement that it will begin construction for access roads for 5 turbines to be constructed in 2019. Because this case was appealed in October, the Court of Appeals will most likely not start hearing arguments until late 2019. The suit requests that the court reverse the Delta County Planning Commission’s award of the 36 conditional use permits.

Craig Potvin

Marquette