City News & Announcements


06-07-2023 Public Hearing Solar & Wind Ordinance

Notice of Ordinance Adoption and Summary of the City of Hancock, County of Houghton, State of Michigan, Ordinance 311, entitled Solar and Wind Energy Zoning, introduced at the regular meeting of the City Council for the City of Hancock on June 7, 2023 (the “Ordinance”).
A zoning ordinance regulating the development and use of solar and wind energy has been adopted by the legislative body of the City of Hancock. The purpose of this ordinance is to establish guidelines for the promotion, appropriate placement, and use of solar energy systems, including solar energy panels, and wind energy systems, including turbines in the City of Hancock. The chapter differentiates accessory use and industrial use for both types of systems. The ordinance applies to solar energy collectors with surface areas greater than five (5) square feet (solar) AND to solar or wind systems mounted greater than eight (8) feet above the ground. The ordinance does NOT apply to a stand-alone solar or wind energy system used to power a single device or specific piece of equipment such as lawn ornament, yard or stair lights, decorative lighting, weather station, battery trickle charger, thermometer, clock, pond pump, or other similar devices.
An ACCESSORY SOLAR OR WIND ENERGY SYSTEM is a small unit that is incidental and subordinate to the primary use of the land parcel, used to supply power for on-site consumption (net metering is allowed if the energy company participates). Solar or wind accessory-use systems are permitted in all districts, subject to setback and height restrictions for accessory structures in their respective districts, and siting limitations as set out below. Accessory-use systems of either type shall not be erected, constructed, installed, or modified unless a City of Hancock Solar and Wind Zoning Permit has been issued to the owner(s) or operator(s).
An INDUSTRIAL SOLAR OR WIND ENERGY SYSTEM is one or many large units whose purpose is the generation of power for power generation itself (i.e., a “solar farm” or “wind farm”), solely or principally intended to produce electricity for sale to a utility and/or other customers for off-site consumption. Industrial-use systems shall not be erected, constructed, installed, or modified unless a City of Hancock solar and wind zoning permit has been issued to the owner(s) or operator(s). Industrial-use solar systems shall be a permitted only in I-1 Industrial districts and with a Special Use Permit and full site review. Industrial-use wind systems (i.e., utility grid wind energy system) are not permitted in any zoning district.
The Ordinance further provides specific requirements with respect to solar and wind energy systems, including, but not limited to, setbacks, height requirements, lot coverage, shade, noise, lighting, flicker, advertisement, placement, electromagnetic impairment. The Ordinance also regulates permit application, complaints, abandonment, decommissioning, and penalties.
A true copy of the entire Ordinance 311 may be inspected or obtained at the City of Hancock City Hall, 399 Quincy St, Hancock, MI 49930, by requesting a copy from the City Clerk.
The Ordinance shall be effective on July 7, 2023.

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