The Bureau County Board and a wind energy company have been sued in a zoning dispute.
The suit was filed Jan. 2 by Eurus Crescent Ridge II LLC and Crescent Ridge Wind LLC, local affiliates of California-based Eurus Wind Energy.
Their suit alleges violations of the county’s zoning ordinance. It also seeks to reverse the County Board’s decision to approve more than 40 conditional use permits for a wind farm overlapping their two projects.
Eurus Crescent Ridge II is a 64-megawatt wind farm proposed to surround and expand on the operating Crescent Ridge Wind Farm, a 33-turbine project that was the first wind farm in the county. The board approved Eurus’ second phase of the project in February
However, the board also approved 47 conditional use permits for a similar 75-megawatt wind farm owned by Crescent Ridge II LLC, an affiliate of Chicago-based Midwest Wind Energy.
Midwest Wind Energy, which was one of the original owners of the first Crescent Ridge Project, has proposed its 42 turbines be almost interspersed with the 35 turbines for the Eurus project.
Eurus Crescent Ridge II officials claim the competing farm would hinder production of wind energy for the new facility as well as the existing Crescent Ridge project.
Bob Russell, who is representing Eurus Crescent Ridge LLC and Crescent Ridge LLC, said the companies stand to lose a combined $4 million in energy loss.
The suit claims the board violated its zoning ordinance, which states conditional use permits should not be permitted if they are injurious to the use or enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity. The ordinance also says permits should not diminish property value of surrounding property.
The suit calls for the board to reverse its decision, which would void the permits for the wind farm owned by Midwest Wind Energy.
Bureau County State’s Attorney Pat Herrmann said Monday he had not yet discussed the suit with the County Board and could not comment on the details.
In addition to the County Board and Crescent Ridge II LLC, defendants in the suit are the Bureau County Board of Supervisors, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Bureau County Regional Planning Commission, the Bureau County Emergency Telephone System Board, AgriWind LLC and the landowners of the property in which the Crescent Ridge II LLC wind turbines are to be located.
The defendants have 30 days from the Jan. 2 filing date to reply to the suit.
By Erinn Deshinsky
Of The Journal Star
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