SPECIAL MEETING W/PUBLIC HEARING
LOCKE TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 2023 7:00 PM
Call to Order, Pledge of Allegiance – 7:00 PM
PC Present: Ben Howard, Marcy Shepler, Sarah Lackey, Ty Hull
PC Absent: Jordan Smith
Public Present: See attached
Motion to approve March 21, 2023 Meeting Minutes – Passed Shepler/Hull
Public Hearing for Ordinance 2023-01 Large Solar Energy Systems Moratorium
Called to Order, 7:01PM
Cindy Pressen: The proposed area is currently being used for food for animals and people. As large companies buy up the land it reduces our ability to produce food for our community and state.
In the large arrays there is a concern for noise and environment, does the current ordinance support the community?
Will the current ordinance protect the property value and the citizens?
Kelly Teiber – Supports passing the moratorium because long term impacts are not being taken into consideration. Reducing the amount of the productive land for energy production is a concern. There is a legal concern if the current ordinance is able to be upheld in a court and should be reviewed by an attorney.
Richard Witgen – Supports the moratorium, our ordinance needs to be reviewed by a specialist to ensure that the ordinances are strong enough to be upheld.
Duane Pickney – He is in favor of both of the ordinance. The public asked for 6 months unless we need more time. We should consider the intention of the planners who are helping the township create ordinances. Planners can come in with an agenda and could convince them to tailor an ordinance to make it easier for solar to come in here. Homier should be hired to review the ord. to ensure they are written to reflect the views of the township
Kristin Babel – It is painfully obvious that the public is tired. All the public is asking for is time and Homier. There are beaten down and just want a nice, safe place to live.
Roger Blasey – He was at the board meeting a couple weeks ago, and believes that it is right to put the moratorium in place. Roger is not in favor of hiring a planner due to his experience these roles are able to be pushed over. He is concerned about why the township needs a planner. In his opinion, the board will not move forward unless the public and PC keep showing up and supporting this in order to keep the momentum going.
Thomas Dean – In support of the PC moving forward. He is requested a count of public present support the moratorium. [There were 26 public members present, none spoke in opposition.]
Richard Allen – Supports the PC moving in favor of the moratorium. Allen has researched the company that works as the Locke Township planner and sees similar issues popping up in other communities using that companies service.
Public Hearing closed at 7:24
Public Hearing on Ordinance 2023-02 – Commercial Wind Turbine Generators Moratorium
Called to order, 7:25 PM
Cindy Pressen – Supports the wind moratorium for the same reasons as the solar
Richard Witgen – Supports the wind moratorium for the same reasons as the solar
Tyler Crossen – Support of moratorium.
Bruce Jennings – Supports the CWTGM moratorium.
Duane Pickney – In favor of moving forward with the moratorium for the same reasons as SES.
Roger Blasey – in favor of the moratorium for the same reasons as stated before.
Public Hearing closed at 7:27 PM
PC Deliberated the Large Solar Energy Moratorium as written.
PC moved to a role call vote to accept the Large Solar Energy Moratorium as written and recommend the Board approve Ordinance 2023-01. Yes – Howard, Shepler, Hull, Lackey, No – 0, Absent – Smith
PC Deliberated the Commercial Wind Turbine Generators Moratorium as written.
PC moved to a role call vote to accept the Commercial Wind Turbine Generators Moratorium as written and recommend the Board approve Ordinance 2023-01. Yes – Howard, Shepler, Hull, Lackey, No – 0, Absent – Smith
Meeting Adjorned at 7:32