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PC Meeting Minutes 7-19-22


JULY  19, 2022   7:00 PM



  1. Call to order and reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance: 7:00 p.m.


  1. Present: David Carlson, Matthew Flint, Sarah Lackey, Marcy Shepler, Ben Howard


  1. Public Attendance: Bob Davis, Mike and Sheri Rambo, Charles Hauser, Jim Grant, Karen Histed, Mark Eidelson, Dorothy Hart.


  1. Motion to approval agenda (Carlson, Lackey, motion passes)


  1. Motion to approve May 17 minutes with (Flint; Shepler, motion passes)


  1. Public comment:


Mark Eidelson from LandPlan Inc was present to help clarify public concerns and answer questions on the proposed solar ordinance.


There was public comment concerning the Solar Ordinance Amendment, Sec C.3,7,9&12.  The concern surrounded confusing language, private property rights, green scaping/fencing, and the 50% maximum lot coverage, in addition to glare/visual impact.


Clarification was made that many of the concerns raised on limitation within the proposed amendment were based on existing ordinances for other special use projects. Eidelson addressed the concern on maximum lot coverage by explaining that the lot coverage is calculated by the solar panel array coverage and does not count the vegetative rows.  The lot coverage provision in the proposed amendment is set at 50%.  This is double the lot coverage maximum that all other special use projects are allotted in the zoning ordinance.


The solar amendment has a provision for the distance from the solar facility to the transmission lines.  The statement made in public comment was that this was not a necessary provision given that this is often regulated by the cost of the project.  The comment suggested that if a parcel is attractive, the solar company will likely just build infrastructure to the parcel.


Public concern was raised about flights coming into Lansing, flying over Locke Township and possible future solar arrays, and possible glare affecting the safety of the pilots and passengers.  Glare is addressed in Section 2-6, and again is subsection 11, but it does not reference or recognize air traffic concerns.


Public comment and concern were voiced against allowing solar arrays to move forward in the community due to concerns over drinking water studies, heavy metal studies, overall health affects of solar farms in communities, run off and draining concerns, animal studies – specifically surrounding crane migration, and the impact of solar farms on the smaller farmers in the area.  The overall sentiment of these concerns was summarized with the comment that the overall health of our township should not be affected for the profit on one community member.


The PC believes that many of these concerns are already addressed through both the Special Land Use application process and subsequent due diligence.  However, the PC settled on inserting additional language into the amendment surrounding Environmental Impact.


Public Comment Closed


The PC deliberated and voted to update or leave intact the following areas of the Solar Amendment as drafted:


Flint motions to keep Max Lot Coverage C, General Standard #7 as written in the amendment proposal.  Shepler second, roll call vote, passed.


Flint motions to keep 10-2-foot note 2 as written in the proposed policy, Shepler second, roll call vote, passed.


Flint, motion to updated Section C General Standards #3 add a reference to, Shepler second, roll call vote, passed.


Flint proposes caring over like Section B – 9 from the proposed wind amendments to the solar ordinance for large solar arrays. This section pertains to wildlife studies and impact surrounding special land use projects.  Shepler second, roll call vote, passed.


LandPlan will prepare a Draft revision will be available and sent to David Carlson and Dorothy Hart to review to ensure agreed changes are correct prior to summiting to the township board for approval.


Lackey motion to delay movement of the Wind review and additional agenda topics to 8/19 meeting, Flint second, motion passed.


Public Comment None


Motion to close meeting 8:52, Shepler second.


  1. Unfinished business


  1. Concern/comments of PC members, ZA and Consultants

Due to employment schedule, David Carlson has submitted his resignation.


  1. Public comment


  1. Meeting adjournment

Individuals needing special services to fully participate may contact the Locke Township Clerk

@ 517 468-3405 at least 72 hours in advance to request the necessary assistance.


Next meeting August 16, 2022

Phone: (517) 468-3405
Fax: (517) 468-0105
3805 Bell Oak Rd
Williamston, Mi 48895