Wabaunsee County in Kansas prohibited large wind turbines (more than 100 kW or 120 feet total height) throughout the county. Landowners who wanted to lease their land for them sued. This is the final district court ruling, dismissing the landowners’ complaints. The county also limited small wind systems to one per 20 acres, and only on parcels of at least 20 acres.
“The concept of public welfare is broad and inclusive. … The values it represents are spiritual as well as physical, aesthetic as well as monetary. It is within the power of legislature [to have] determined that the community should be beautiful as well as healthy, spacious as well as clean, well balanced as well as carefully patrolled. …
“The County found that placing the complexes of wind farms, of the size and scope necessary to accomplish their intended purpose, would have a dramatic, and adverse, effect upon all of the general welfare issues found in the comprehensive plan. …
“A review of the certified record finds repeated documents and minutes of meetings, both of the commissioners themselves and of public hearings, wherein the pros and cons of wind farms were discussed.
“The Court finds there is substantial evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support the conclusions reached by the County.
“[I]n the County’s denial of placing wind farms in the entire county[,] [t]he County didn’t take any existing rights away but only refused to expand the existing rights including wind rights.”
Download original document: “Wabaunsee County Ruling”
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