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Is it possible to write a non-zoning ordinance for wind turbines with setbacks from the property line that would holdup if challenged?

Yes. MCL 41.181 and MC 42.15 allow a township to adopt non-zoning ordinances (often referred to as police power ordinances) to regulate as may be deemed necessary to provide for the public health and safety of the property owners and residents within a township. Using a non-zoning ordinance is especially common for those townships interested in regulating activities but are unzoned. Unzoned townships are those without their own zoning ordinance and are not subject to a county zoning ordinance. The methods of regulating wind energy and siting of wind turbines was discussed in-depth in our May 2015 E-letter, which can be viewed here: https://www.fsbrlaw.com/Resources/Articles/ID/255/How-to-Regulate-Wind-Energy-Projects.

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