Official Site of Locke Township
Tuesday and Thursdays 10AM - 4PM

PC Meeting Minutes 1-17-23


JAN. 17, 2023   7:00 PM



  1. Call to order by vice chairperson Shepler / Pledge of Allegiance 7:00


  1. Present: Marcy Shepler, Ben Howard, Jordan Smith, Ty Hull, Sarah Lackey


  1. Public Present (see attached Sign in Sheets)


  1. Approval / Additions to agenda

Welcome new Planning Commission member Ty Hull

Welcome new Zoning Administrator Julie Moore


  1. Action on Nov. 15, 2022 minutes (Smith/Howard; vote passed 5:0)


  1. Election of Officers for 2023

Chairperson – Lackey (Shepler/Hull; vote passed 5:0)

Vice Chairperson – Shepler (Howard/Smith; vote passed 5:0)

Secretary – Lackey (Shepler/Smith; vote passed 5:0)


  1. Public comment [3 minute limitation]

Public Commenter: Public commenter read excerpt from Locke Township Master Plan re: benefits and contributions of farming.  Stressing the importance of agriculture for the state and our community.  Commenter shared information on the PA 116.


Public Commenter: Commenter Read excerpt from Locke Township Master Plan.  Focused on health and natural resources, as well as farmland.  Also, the commenter quoted the importance of keeping the various segments.


Public Commenter:  Continued the reading of excerpts from the Locke township Master Plan.  Managed growth is important and impacts the future of the township and citizens.  The rural nature is important in shaping the township.  Preservation can be difficult because over time, changes happen slowly.


Public Commenter: Farming community includes harvesting vegetation, trees, underground and above ground.  Harvesting wind and solar is included in harvesting.  We can have all of the produce growing but the long term affects of climate change needs to be addressed.  There is concern about the water levels in our region as well.  Commenter was reminding the group of




  1. New Business

Special Land Use Permit application submitted by Steven Rollin, 5567 S. M52, Auto Repair.

Review application for completeness.  If complete, schedule public hearing 03-21-23 @ 7 pm

  • PC has requestioned for previous application


Special Land Use Permit application submitted by Jamie Smith, 2652 Haslett Rd, Day Care

Review application for completeness.  If complete, schedule public hearing 03-21-23 @ 7 pm

  • ZBA meeting is necessary for variation of lot line for green area.


  1. Public comment/communications

Public Commentor: He agrees with the Master Plan.  He has researched nearby ordinances as compared to Locke Township.  Suggested that Locke Township hire an attorney to look at strengthening current ordinances.


Public Commentor: Has concerns about a landfill coming into Locke Township.


Public Commentor:  The biggest threat is a landfill.  The concern is that most land used for Solar and Wind is leased.  The M-52 property has been purchased at over +550 acres.  Would like the township to hire Foster Swift attorneys to review and possibly change ordinances.


Public Commentor: Commentor shared that most owners lease their land because they do not want to sell it.  She has experience farming under solar arrays.  Bees are a big part of solar fields, and this is important to agriculture too.  Would like the community to open up their minds to solar and the current regulations.


Public Commentor:  Commentor is from Atrium Township.  They are inodiated with solar and utilities.  He is working through a solar farm in his neighborhood.  He shared comments on subsidies, and that most solar companies are less than 4 years old.  Granger is not, but also does not have solar track record.


Public Commentor:  Commentor is concerned about landfills and if our ordinances are strong enough to fight against a landfill if it comes.


Public Commentor:  Thanked the PC for their hard work. Tasked the community to buy the land if they want to keep solar panels out.  Commentor would be less offended to wake up and look at windmill or solar panel, than an election sign.  He also stated we have poles anyway, what is the difference if they were windmills.


  1. Unfinished business


  1. Concern/comments of PC members, Zoning Administrator and Consultants

Sarah would like to know how PA116 can allow up to 50% of protected land to be used for solar, if the township requires a large scale project to rezone.  Does the state override the township.


  1. Meeting adjournment: 8:08 (Lackey/Shepler)
Phone: (517) 468-3405
Fax: (517) 468-0105
3805 Bell Oak Rd
Williamston, Mi 48895