Land zoning control important

To the Journal editor:

The Michigan Zoning and Enabling Act 2006 (Act 110) was an act to codify the laws regarding local units of government regulating the development and use of land; to provide for the adoption of zoning ordinances; to provide for the establishment in counties, townships, cities, and villages of zoning district; to prescribe the powers and duties of certain officials; to provide for the assessment and collection of fees; to authorize the issuance of bonds and notes; to prescribe penalties and provide remedies; and to repeal acts and parts of acts.

In other words, it allows local officials and residents to determine the zoning that provides the most benefit to that community. Act 110 is intended to protect the health, safety and welfare of a community. Who better to develop a master plan and zoning for the community than the local government and people?

These zoning decisions determine where our parks and industry will be located and what will be zoned as agricultural, business, industrial and residential properties. Local zoning is required to protect property values, ensure economic development and more.

If local officials pass a zoning ordinance against the will of the community, the people have the option to call a referendum, allowing the community to vote on accepting or declining the zoning ordinances. This is a means of checks and balances placed on the local officials and the zoning ordinances they pass.

Corporations wanting to build wind turbine and solar farms are often disappointed when they discover that a community won’t simply roll over to all their zoning demands.

As a result, they have helped legislators to craft house bills 5120, 5121, 5122 and 5123 and senate bills 0585, 0586, 0587 and 0588 to strip the local officials and the community of the ability to determine zoning for wind and solar farms. This means that the corporations and the Michigan Public Service Commission in Lansing would be able to determine the location, density, set-backs, height, flicker, allowable sound and other factors associated with these projects.

Why would we want Lansing determining our local zoning ordinances? Why would we want to lose local control of zoning that impacts our communities health, safety and welfare and give it to those down state?

I am opposed to these bills and if Lansing had this control a few years back, it is safe to say we would have over 100 wind turbines in the Huron Mountains between Marquette and L’Anse today.

This sets a very bad precedent. I recommend everyone contact their legislators and put a stop to these bills.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Burt Mason, R-Baraga, is a candidate for 109th State House District representative.


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