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Springfield Township



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that at a regularly-scheduled meeting held on May 13, 2010, the Township Board of the Charter Township of Springfield adopted amendments to Springfield Township Zoning Ordinance No. 26, which amendments are set forth herein and shall take effect seven (7) days after publication of this Notice of Adoption.


Ordinance No. 26, the Zoning Ordinance of the Charter Township of Springfield is hereby amended as follows:

Section 1. Amendments

ARTICLE II DEFINITIONS, is hereby amended to read as follows:

WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEM (WECS) shall mean any structure such as a wind charger, windmill, or wind turbine that converts wind energy to a form of usable energy.

a. Private WECS shall mean any WECS that is accessory to a principal dwelling or use located on the same zoning lot, is designed and built to serve the needs of the principal use and that provides power to an electric utility's grid as a function secondary to supporting electricity to the principal dwelling.

b. Commercial WECS shall mean any WECS that is designed and built to provide electricity as an ongoing commercial enterprise.

ARTICLE XVI GENERAL PROVISIONS, Section 16.10 Exception to Height Limits is hereby amended to read as follows:

SECTION 16.10 Exception to Height Limits: No building or structure shall be erected, converted, enlarged or structurally altered to exceed the height limit hereinafter established for the district in which the building is located. Exceptions shall be subject to the following provisions:

1. Roof structures for the housing of elevators, stairways, tanks, ventilating fans, or similar equipment required to operate and maintain the building, and fire or parapet walls, skylights, towers, steeples, stage lofts, and screens, flagpoles, chimneys, individual domestic radio and television aerials, energy conservation devices, roof-mounted Wind Energy Conversion Systems, water tanks, or similar structures may be erected above the height limits herein prescribed. However, no such structure may be erected to exceed by more than fifteen (15) feet the height limits of the district in which it is located; nor shall such structure have a total area greater than ten (10) percent of the roof area of the building; nor shall such structure be used for any residential purpose or any commercial or industrial purpose other than a use incidental to the main use of the building.

2. Public communication or public utility microwave towers shall be subject to the provisions of section 16.09.

ARTICLE XVI GENERAL PROVISIONS, Section 16.27 Wind Energy Conversion Systems is hereby amended to read as follows:

SECTION 16.27 Wind Energy Conversion Systems.

1. Intent - It is the intent of Springfield Township to permit the effective and efficient use of Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) by regulating the siting, design, and installation of such systems to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. In no case shall this ordinance guarantee the wind rights or establish access to the wind.

2. Approval Required - Except where noted in this Section, it shall be unlawful to construct, erect, install, alter, or locate any WECS project within Springfield Township unless:

a. For a private WECS, A permit is obtained from the Township.

b. For a commercial WECS, A Special Land Use has been obtained pursuant to Section 18.08 and this section.

3. General Standards - The following standards shall apply to all private and commercial wind energy conversion systems in Springfield Township:

a. Design Safety Certification. The safety of the design of all private and commercial WECS structures shall be certified by a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Michigan and reviewed by the Township. The standard for certification shall be included with the permit application. If approved, the Professional Engineer shall certify that the construction and installation of the private or commercial WECS project meets or exceeds the manufacturer's construction and installation standards, and any applicable State and Federal regulations.

b. Controls and Brakes. All commercial WECS structures shall be equipped with manual and automatic controls to limit rotation of blades to a speed not to exceed the designed limits of the WECS. The Professional Engineer must certify that the rotor and overspeed control design and fabrication conform to applicable design standards. No changes or alterations from certified design shall be permitted unless accompanied by a Professional Engineer's statement of certification. Brakes are not required for a private WECS.

c. Setbacks. All private and commercial WECS structures must be setback from property lines at a distance equal to or greater than one and one half (1.5) times the height of the structure, measured from the base of the structure to its highest point, including any blades.

d. Climb Prevention. All private and commercial WECS structures must be protected by one or more of the following anti-climbing devices as determined by the Township:

(1) Fences with locking portals at least six (6) feet high;

(2) Anti-climbing devices twelve (12) feet from base of pole; or

(3) Anchor points for guy wires supporting tower shall be enclosed by a six (6) foot high fence or shall be located within the confines of a yard that is completely fenced.

e. Interference. All private or commercial WECS structures shall be designed and operated to minimize or mitigate interference with existing electromagnetic communications, such as radio, telephone, microwave or television signals.

f. Noise Levels. The noise level for either a private or commercial WECS structure shall comply with the standards set forth in Section 17.03 - Noise.

g. Signs. Use of the WECS shall be limited to conversion of wind energy to a form of usable energy and shall not provide any other function, including signage for purposes other than safety.

4. Additional Standards for Commercial WECS Structures - The following additional standards shall apply to all commercial wind energy conversion systems in Springfield Township.

a. Color. Towers and blades shall be finished in a permanent non-reflective neutral color that is approved by Springfield Township or otherwise required by law.

b. Compliance with FAA. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to obtain the appropriate FAA permits for the WECS structure, or to obtain a determination of no significant impact to air navigation from the FAA.

c. Warnings. A visible warning sign of High Voltage shall be required to be placed at the base of all commercial WECS structures. The sign must have at a minimum six (6") inch letters with -inch stroke. Such signs shall be located a maximum of three hundred (300) feet apart and at all points of site ingress and egress.

d. Annual Inspection. Every commercial WECS structure must be inspected annually by a Professional Engineer to certify that it is in good working condition and not a hazard to the public. Such records shall be submitted to Springfield Township and considered a part of the continuing special use permit.

e. Liability Insurance. The owner or operator of a commercial WECS structure shall maintain a current insurance policy with coverage limits acceptable to the Township to cover installation and operation of the WECS project. The amount of the policy shall be established as a condition of special use permit approval.

f. Security. The application shall include a description of security to be posted at the time of receiving a building permit for the facility to ensure removal of the WECS when it has been abandoned or is no longer needed, as provided in section 4. In this regard, the security shall be in the form of: cash or irrevocable letter of credit.

g. Removal. A condition of every approval of a commercial WECS structure shall be adequate provision for removal of all or part of the facility by users and owners upon the occurrence of one or more of the following events:

(1) When the WECS structure or portion of a structure has not been used for 180 days or more. For purposes of this section, the removal of equipment, or the cessation of operations shall be considered as the beginning of a period of non-use. The applicant shall notify the Township upon cessation of operations or removal of equipment.

(2) Upon the occurrence of one (1) or more of the events requiring removal, specified in paragraph (1) above, the property owner or persons who had used the facility shall immediately apply or secure the application for any required demolition or removal permits, and immediately proceed with and complete the demolition/removal, restoring the premises to an acceptable condition as reasonably determined by the Township.

(3) If the required removal of a facility or a portion thereof has not been lawfully completed within sixty (60) days of the applicable deadline, and after written notice, the Township may remove or secure the removal of the facility or required portions thereof, with its actual cost and reasonable administrative charge to be drawn or collected from the security posted at the time application was made for establishing the facility.

5. Ecological Impact. The Township may require a study to be conducted by a qualified professional, such as an ornithologist or wildlife biologist, to determine any potential impacts the commercial WECS structure may present to migratory birds, bats or any other species.

6. Ancillary Structures and Uses. Approval of a special land use under this provision does not extend to any accessory structures or uses to the WECS. All other such accessory structures or uses must be a lawful land use and meet all applicable requirements of the ordinance.

Section 2. Balance of Ordinance Remains in Effect

The balance of Ordinance No. 26 shall remain in full force and effect, except as specifically modified herein.

Section 3. Repealer

All ordinances and portions of ordinances inconsistent with this Ordinance are hereby repealed.

Section 4. Severability

Should any provision or part of this Ordinance be declared by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, the same shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the balance of this Ordinance, which shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 5. Effective Date

This Ordinance shall take effect following publication in the manner prescribed by law. This Ordinance shall be published in the manner provided by law.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of amendments to Zoning Ordinance No. 26 adopted at the Regular Meeting of the Springfield Township Board held on the 13th day of May, 2010. Documents pertaining to the adopted amendments may be inspected or obtained at the office of the Springfield Township Clerk, 12000 Davisburg Rd., Davisburg, MI 48350 at all times said office is open for business. Anyone needing a special accommodation should contact the Clerk's Office at least two (2) business days in advance. 248-846-6510.


Published: May 26, 2010

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