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PC Meeting Minutes 3-21-23


March 21, 2023   7:00 PM     LOCKE TOWNSHIP HALL, 3805 BELL OAK RD, WMSTN


  1. Call to order / Pledge of Allegiance – 7:00

PC Attendance – Sarah Lackey, Ty Hull, Ben Howard, Marcy Shepler

Public Attendance – See attached


  1. Approval of Agenda, no additions – Howard/Shepler


  1. Approval of January 17, 2023 special meeting minutes – Hull/Shepler
  2. Chairperson formally announces the opening of the Public Hearing @  7:03 PM

for Steven Rollin, Special Land Use Permit for Automotive Service and Repair in addition

to used car sales, 5567 S. M-52, Perry MI, parcel 33 04 04 09 300 018


Public Comment:

Tom Dean – Request to deny the project due to possible expansion, and possible pollution, and un

Matthew Shepard – Read a quote – – Matthew Healy



Chairperson formally announced the close of the Rollin SLU Public Hearing @ 7:13 PM

Secretary read back summary of comments offered.


  1. Chairperson formally announces the opening of the Public Hearing @ 7:14 PM

for Jamie Smith, Special Land Use Permit for Child Care Center in addition to religious institution,

2652 Haslett Rd, Williamston MI, parcel 33 04 04 18 100 000


Public Comment:

David Piper – Farm owner has concerns about any chemical or farming activity may impact the daycare facility.


Michael Black – In favor of proposal, the facility has been used for children for generations and it is wonderful that it will continue.  Black returned with a second comment stating that when he held leadership at the same location, the Piper farm owner communicated farming activities very well.


Roger Blasey – Would like something official to document communications between the Pipers and Smiths on the farming activities and communication with the daycare.


Chairperson formally announced the close of the Public Hearing @ 7:21  PM

Secretary read back summary of comments offered.


  1. Public comment [3 minutes limitation] 

Commentor thanked board for consideration -Moratoriums are appreciated would like to move up hearing.  Also, would like an answer on the landfill moratorium.


Commentor would like to discuss the “demonstrated public need” comments.  Read from former case led by Homier as an example of demonstrated public.  Would like to express disappointment that the expectation that the Facebook Group would need to hire their own attorney.


Commentor states, It is shameful that there was even a suggestion that the Facebook Group should pay for an attorney.  The group has invested over $1,000 in private funds to date to help the township.


Commentor says, concerning government and climate change, we need to do our part as a community to contribute to solar.


Commentor has been coming to the committee meeting for 5 months and has not seen any change.


Commentor stated that there is only so much farm land available.  Why can solar not be shouldered by auto plants or existing commercial property


Commentor had questions the public hearings, and how quickly the moratorium can be issued.  He believes that this location is prime area for a landfill and not solar and wind


Commentor stated they had a degree in alternative energy, and has concerns of the 2030 deadline for Michigan.  He does not believe Mid-Michigan is a good fit for wind energy, and Michigan in general is not a good regional location for solar.  Property values will decrease by 13% at a minimum.  Landfill will decrease property values further.  The leakage from a landfill not only affects the neighbors, but the township but surrounding region

Commentor read that government is pushing for the agenda of renewable energy.  The fed government is responsible for reducing the petroleum production in many forms.  Science confirms that the earth has experienced many cooling and warming periods.  In MI in 2021, 11% renewables is 32% coal – 7 years to get 60% renewable using solar and wind.


Commentor believes Special Assessment should be considered for hiring proper legal council to assist the township in fighting the ordinances, especially the Landfill.  Would like to see it at the next public election.


Commentor is from Cohoctah township, they had worked 15 months on ordinances.  The planning commission there had worked with Homier to look at ordinances.  They have been very successful.  In reference to home values, the larger the project the greater the impact.  Lennon, for example, had a 40% home value loss on the very first home sale after the solar array was installed.


Commentor very concerned that we do not have an ordinance for the Landfill.  We have the best drinking water and no known measures can protect it from a landfill.  We do not want this in our area destroying our water.  The drainage fields would also be affected.


Commentor stated Consumer’s has a hold on our township, their property has a high powered gas line going through her property.  Consumer’s is expanding the line.  It is tearing down trees, and destroying property.  It is a fact of life that they are here.


Commentor wondered if the small communities are working together to make themselves stronger against large companies.


Commentor had some questions about the order of operations for SLU permits for solar/wind/landfill.  There is a moratorium discussion tonight on wind and solar.  Can we add landfill?


Commentor stated he had not seen written minutes on the board meeting but believes Dorothy said no to the hiring of the new attorney.


Commentor said, “We do not need an attorney.”


Commentor encourages Locke Township to hire attorney Homier.  It is worth $10,000.  Has concerns on where our attorney and planner are from pro-green energy area, so they can be expected to be pro- solar and pro-solar.  If you look at Locke ordinance it is very week.


Commentor lives in Livingston County, nobody is saying no to small use solar a projects.  They are saying no to industrial size locations.  They are linking the parcels together, creating impact and thousands of acres.


Commentor says, no one is against small scale solar.  We are running out of fossil fuels.  We just do not want solar and wind farms.  She is from metro Detroit, and has seen many landfills.  All signs of location – highways, corner of a county, trunk lines, and Locke Township is the perfect locations.


  1.   New Business

*Call to vote for Rollins SLU – Role call vote –  Howard/Yes; Shepler/Yes; Hull/Yes; Lackey/Yes

*Call to vote for Smith SLU – Role call vote – Howard/Yes; Shepler/Yes; Hull/Yes; Lackey/Yes

*Ordinance 2023-01 Zoning Ordinance Amendment for Large Solar Energy Systems

Moratorium [SES]  Atty Hitch has stated that a moratorium may be imposed to allow good faith reevaluation of the SES Ordinance, please set Public Hearing April 18, 7 PM, Role call vote – Howard/Yes; Shepler/Yes; Hull/Yes; Lackey/Yes

*Ordinance 2023-02 Zoning Ordinance Amendment for Commercial Wind Turbine Generators

[CWTG] Atty Hitch has stated that a moratorium may be imposed to allow good faith reevaluation of the CWTG Ordinance, please set Public Hearing April 18@ 7 PM

Role call vote – Howard/Yes; Shepler/Yes; Hull/Yes; Lackey/Yes


PC requests for Township Attorney to create a moratorium or similar action (since a current ordinance does not exist) to pause any movement on landfills. Wording should not necessarily require an ordinance creation, but should allow the township time to explore their rights and correct actions. This moratorium or similar action is requested to be available for review at the next Planning Commission meeting – May 16 meeting.

Role call vote – Howard/Yes; Shepler/Yes; Hull/Yes; Lackey/Yes


  1.   Unfinished business – None
  2.    Concern/comments of PC members, ZA and Consultants – None
  3. Meeting adjournment – 8:31 p.m.


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