The Monroe County Board of Adjustments decided Thursday to review the public hearing regarding construction of wind turbines in the town of Wells. Wells property owners William Semann, of Norwalk, WI, and Myron Brueggeman, of Chicago, IL, brought the appeal to the Board.
The Board will now review the hearing about granting Summit Ridge Energy a conditional use permit and make an independent determination about if the permit should be granted, said attorney for the Board Paul Millis.
Members of the Board of Adjustments are appointed by the County Chairman with approval from the County Board of Supervisors. The Board has the authority to make an independent decision overriding that of county departments.
The Board can affirm the Planning & Zoning decision or deny it, which would void the conditional use permit. It could also grant additional conditions or remove them. The Board of Adjustments scheduled another meeting for Sept. 6 when a decision about the permit is expected to be made.
Summit Ridge Energy applied for a conditional use permit to build wind turbines and accessory structures in Wells last spring. The Monroe County Sanitation, Planning & Zoning Department approved the application and the town of Wells did not take any action to veto or endorse the decision.
In response, Semann and Brueggeman filed suit against Planning & Zoning May 29. The plaintiffs claim wind turbines will affect their health, safety and enjoyment of their properties. Brueggeman’s claim says the wind turbines would interfere with the development of his private airstrip.
In related news, the lawsuits of Summit Ridge Energy vs. Ridgeville, Wilton and Monroe County were denied at the County Board meeting July 30. The claims against Ridgeville and Wilton have been consolidated and will go to each town for consideration this month. The towns can deny or approve the claim.
By Keith Zukas
6 August 2007
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