CLINTON CO, Mich. (WLNS) – The Clinton County planning commission is drafting up a one-year moratorium that would pause any applications for solar or wind power plants.
The time would give county officials to make any amendments to related zoning ordinances.
The commission room was packed Thursday night with people from around the county, all with differing opinions on the moratorium.
“Growing Michigan’s renewable and clean energy industry represents a multibillion-dollar opportunity that Clinton County can be a part of,” said Theresa Hubbard, a Clinton County resident who was one of a dozen residents speaking in front of the planning commission.
County officials said the zoning ordinances are outdated. They’re hoping to buy the county time to hear from the public before any permanent changes are made to ordinances
Clinton County isn’t the only place facing questions about clean energy production plants.
Counties like Livingston and Ingham are seeing similar discussions in town hall meetings.
Some people said they are worried about farmland being replaced by power plants. Other supporters of the moratorium said they are skeptical that energy produced there would stay local and worry big city energy needs would cause a solar plant expansion.
“Let’s not put any more in our township, because we did our job. If Detroit wants to power theirs, they can find their own land to cover up,” one resident said.
Opponents of the moratorium said there needs to be a change to green energy production now over concerns about climate change.
Director of community development Doug Riley says 11 townships already have given zoning authority to the county, and those townships would be the ones primarily impacted by any ordinance change.
City officials said there’s another public hearing planned for May 11 where the drafted moratorium will be presented.