Planning & Zoning for Solar Energy Systems: A Guide for Michigan Local GovernmentsDOWNLOAD
October 5, 2021 - Author: Wayne Beyea, Harmony Fierke-Gmazel, M. Charles Gould, Bradley Neumann and Mary Reilly, Michigan State University Extension; Sarah Mills, University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute
The purpose of this guide is to help Michigan communities meet the challenge of becoming solar-ready by addressing solar energy systems (SES) within their planning policies and zoning regulations. This document illustrates how various scales and configurations of photovoltaic SES fit into landscape patterns ranging between rural, suburban, and urban. The guide was developed by experts within MSU Extension and the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction in partnership with faculty at the University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute. Further review of this document was completed by content experts from local units of government, legal counsel, energy-related non-profits, utility experts, and members of academia. Its intent is to help Michigan communities make public policy decisions related to solar energy development. This guide is written for use by local planners, officials, legal counsel, and policymakers within the State of Michigan. It first presents the current context for solar in Michigan, describes the various components and configurations of SES, and provides principles for how SES might fit within various land-use patterns across the state. Then, the guide presents sample language for including SES into a community’s zoning ordinance.
Below is a companion webinar available to further supplement the guide.
- Wayne Beyea, JD, AICP, Senior Specialist, Michigan State University School of Planning, Design and Construction (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Harmony Fierke-Gmazel, AICP, Educator, Michigan State University Extension, Government and Community Vitality (email@example.com)
- M. Charles Gould, Educator, Michigan State University Extension, Bioenergy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sarah Mills, PhD, Senior Project Manager, University of Michigan, Graham Sustainability Institute (email@example.com)
- Bradley Neumann, AICP, Senior Educator, Michigan State University Extension, Government and Community Vitality (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mary Reilly, AICP, Educator, Michigan State University Extension, Government and Community Vitality (email@example.com)