The future of wind power in the Jefferson County town of Lyme could ultimately be decided by a judge.
A group that supports wind farm development has filed a lawsuit against the town board over a recently adopted zoning law.
Ten members of Voters for Wind filed the legal challenge in State Supreme Court.
The group claims the town board adopted a zoning law concerning wind turbines that’s “too restrictive and does not adequately allow for the orderly development of wind energy facilities”.
The zoning requires wind turbines to be at least 4,500 feet away from the waterfront and the villages of Chaumont and Three Mile Bay.
Members of Voters for Wind say developers can’t work within those constraints.
“I feel they have their own agenda. They have been very anti wind from the beginning,” said Voters for Wind vice president Dawn Munk.
In the lawsuit, Voters for Wind says the board failed to recognize their protest petition.
The group says because a petition was presented, the town board needed to have a 75 percent majority vote to pass the zoning ordinance.
The board adopted the law by a 3 – 2 margin, a 60 percent majority.
Town Supervisor Scott Aubertine, a member of the town board, was one of the two people who voted against the ordinance.
“Once the state makes their ruling, I hope this would be the end of it once and for all and we’d go do what we have to do. If we have to start over again, well we’ll try to find something that perhaps pleases everyone,” said Aubertine.
Voters for Wind claims the board rejected the protest petition without legal basis.
The town said the group didn’t have the necessary signatures to be valid.
The lawsuit seeks to make the zoning law invalid.
The State Supreme Court’s decision is due July 31, the same day the town’s moratorium on wind power development will run out.
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