Program: Center for EmPowering Communities
Program details » | All Center for EmPowering Communities reports and resources »
A major evolution of land use is the use of more farmland for clean energy production via commercial wind and solar installations. Many Michigan townships have had to update their master plans and zoning ordinances as a result.
In this advanced webinar on planning and zoning for renewable energy, Dr. Sarah Mills and Madeleine Krol from the U-M Graham Sustainability Institute review the essential steps for planning for renewables and provide key considerations for zoning for both wind and solar energy. First, communities must decide how renewable energy does (or does not) fit into the long-term vision and plans for the community, and review master plan goals—especially those that are not energy-specific—to understand synergies and conflicts between existing goals and potential renewable energy development. They can then use publicly accessible resources to assess which areas within a jurisdiction are viable for renewable energy development. Finally, this presentation introduces key considerations for making zoning decisions for renewables, including appropriate zoning districts, ordinance structures, and specific zoning standards for both wind and solar energy.