Opponents of proposed windmills near Crystal Lake have appealed a county judge’s ruling that cleared the way for the construction.
William Higgs, attorney for the environmental group Defend Our Watershed, filed the appeal Tuesday with the state Commonwealth Court.
The group seeks to overturn a Jan. 3 ruling by Luzerne County President Judge Michael Conahan, who upheld a decision by the Bear Creek Township Zoning Board which granted a variance that would allow Energy Unlimited Inc. to erect nine windmills near the lake.
Higgs said Wednesday he does not believe Energy Unlimited’s request meets the criteria for the issuance of variance because the company created its own hardship.
Specifically, Higgs said the company obtained a lease for wind rights on land for which wind turbines are not permitted.
“When they got the lease they created their own hardship,” he said. “You can’t get a variance if you created your own hardship.”
The appeal is one of several outstanding legal issues that stand in the way of Energy Unlimited’s plans to construct a total of 34 windmills in the township.
The company was previously granted permission to construct 25 windmills, but that case is also on appeal to Commonwealth Court, which has not yet ruled on the matter.
Terrie Morgan-Besecker, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 571-829-717
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