Our group's primary focus is to keep industrial scale wind and solar out of our township. We will no longer be responding to these types of emails from the Zoning Administrator.
1/5/23: Protect Keene response to Zoning Administrator email from 12/21/22. Click here.
Below are emails from the Keene Twp Zoning Administrator to Protect Keene. Most recent email chain is at the top.
8/3/22: Below is an unredacted email that our Zoning Administrator sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see our notes below that.
Notes from Protect Keene:
Our group sent representation to the Invenergy Open House, with a list of questions. They stayed the entire time, spoke at length with Invenergy staff, and asked many questions.
The township website lists board meeting minutes starting from Feb 2017 onward. The following board meeting minutes are missing from that timeframe:
*2/7/17: minutes shown were actually from 11/7/17. This has been corrected since our website launched. Website updated 8/9/22 to reflect this*
3/12/18 (there are minutes shown, but they are duplicates from 3/12/19)
10/9/18 *this is the board meeting where they voted on the original solar ordinance*
March 2020 Annual Meeting (date unknown as it is not listed on the township website)
March 2021 Annual Meeting (exact date unknown since it's not listed on the township website)
April 2021 Monthly Meeting (exact date unknown since it's not listed on the township website)
May 2021 Monthly Meeting (exact date unknown since it's not listed on the township website)
June 2021 Monthly Meeting (exact date unknown since it's not listed on the township website)
August 2021 Monthly Meeting (exact date unknown since it's not listed on the township website)
With the correction, that is 22 sets of meeting minutes that are missing.
The Daily News allows you to read 2 free articles per month, per device. It is typical of news publications to require subscriptions for paper and digital subscriptions. This is true of the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, The Grand Rapids Press/MLive, Detroit Free Press/Freep, the New York Times, and The Washington Post, for example.
In a letter to the township, our attorney cited the following sections from the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, which can be found online. See photos from sections MCL 125.3103 and MCL 125.3401 below.
The specific sections that our attorney stated were violated are that the township failed to indicate the subject properties in the notification, the township failed to mail notice to all persons witin 300 feet of the rezoned properties, and that the township failed to publish the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation as defined in MCL 691.1051, which states the paper must annually average at least 25% news and editiorial content per issue. The Ionia County Shoppers Guide is almost exclusively advertisements.
Regarding the June 23rd meeting, Invenergy is estimated by analysts to be a $10 billion company* and they are based in nearby Chicago. Our township was given one day's notice that Invenergy would not be attending. Even in that amount of time, another representative could have flown or driven here, or they could have conferenced in by video or even by phone, or they could have provided written answers to the questions that were pre-submitted to the township so the answers could be read or distributed at the meeting. This event was sponsored by the township, therefore everything stated is on the record. Events held by private companies are not subject to the same standards. Those from our group who attended the Invenergy Open House on 8/3 did not (and still have not, despite providing contact info) recieved answers from Invenergy to some of the questions asked.
* Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2020/11/17/how-an-immigrant-engineer-rode-wind-power-to-billionaire-status/?sh=7c3d17ca2344&fbclid=IwAR3EH6ht2GiRmXd5NTI1TkjhOZ4zM5QfIqScObedIriIK9_7AeBk38-blsU
Since our website launched in May 2022, the same photos have been displayed. Six of them are showing solar arrays from the ground. Two of them show solar farms from the air.
Below is a link to the Michigan Open Meetings Act in it's entirety, and a link to the Open Meetings Act Handbook, which serves as a quick reference guide. Our attorney has a list of violations.