Sylvan Township is working on drafting some new ordinances, including solar energy


Sylvan Township is getting help from a special consultant with drafting three new ordinances to deal with solar energy, administrative review and a lake zoning district.

At the last township board meeting on Jan. 10, the Sylvan Township Board approved the Scope of Services from planner Rebecca Harvey on a project that will have her helping the township to draft the ordinances and revise them as needed with help from the township planning commission.

The contract with Harvey is for $5,000. The idea to draft these ordinances comes out of a joint meeting last year between the board and planning commission.

In another meeting late last year, the township attorney gave some insight into what the ordinances might deal with. He said the administrative review will probably deal with things/projects already approved and with the new ordinance language it could allow for administrative deviation without the applicant having to go back before the planning commission, which could save the applicant time and money.

Township attorney Robert Thall said solar energy and panels have become a big thing in Michigan. Many municipalities around the state are taking action on solar energy as it pertains to local ordinances and how to regulate and plan their growth.

As for a Lake District ordinance, the discussion has involved how to better deal with non-conforming lots around the lakes when owners want to do new builds or change things.

Harvey’s work will include attending meetings, talking with township officials and drafting/revising the wording for each ordinance. The work is expected to be completed in July.

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