Something does not add up.
Last week in my Letter to the Editor, I expressed my disappointment with the Goodland Township Board’s refusal to ask the Township’s Planning Commission to consider three possible changes to the Township’s ordinance that regulates Industrial Scale Solar Energy Production.
The Board justified their refusal by blaming the Township’s Attorney for banning any discussion of Solar. This justification seems to directly contradict the Board Minutes from the December 29, 2021, Special Meeting, listed on the Township Website. These minutes specifically state:
“Planning Commission Recommendations-the PC requested the Twp. place a moratorium on Solar installments. The Twp. Atty. has recommended against that action but did agree that the Ordinance could be amended at any time. The PC would like to obtain services from Rowe for amending the Zoning Ordinance and updating the Master Plan. Rowe quoted a rate of $110.00/hr. for ZO amendment assistance. They will be sending a quote for the Master Plan work.”
On January 12, 2022 this Board approved these minutes, which contained their Attorney’s advice. The Township Officials acknowledged their Attorney stated “the Ordinance could be amended at any time.” A mere ten months later, the story has changed. Now suddenly the Township’s Attorney has made any consideration of changes to the Township’s Ordinance verboten.
Earlier this year, while the Township was considering an Industrial Scale Solar Energy Production application, citizens were told the Township would not discuss or consider changes to the Ordinance. We were told the Township could not do this while they were actively considering an application. But currently, the Township does not have an active Industrial Scale Solar Energy Production application in hand. After all, Township Officials rejected the previously mentioned application on June 11, 2022. Since that date many citizens, not just me, have been asking for consideration of changes to this ordinance. But Township Officials will not CONSIDER any type of change to this ordinance. But inconsistency from these Township Officials seems to be the norm.
A simple request to CONSIDER requiring applicants seeking to install Industrial Scale Solar Energy Production equipment to use equipment that meets internationally recognized safety standards seems reasonable to me. Further, since the existing ordinance does not require a basic level of safety certification, you would think the Township would find it necessary to require anyone seeking to install Industrial Scale Solar to disclose the type of equipment they would like to install, along with basic safety information about that equipment. But this Board expects us to believe its attorney has tied their hands and has directed his client not to CONSIDER changes to its ordinance which might protect its citizens? Even though this stance directly contradicts his statement in December, 2021.
Something does not add up.
I encourage all residents of Goodland Township to attend the November 10, 2022 Board Meeting. I feel residents are owed an explanation for a refusal to CONSIDER reasonable changes to an ordinance that would protect the health and safety of the community. Failure to provide such an explanation would lead me to believe this Board is indifferent to protecting the health and safety of its residents.
— Michael A. Puzzuoli