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Wind lawsuit dismissed

A lawsuit filed by more than two dozen Ellis County landowners and a prospective wind developer against the Ellis County Commission was dismissed Wednesday.

Dismissal of the suit comes on the heels of zoning regulation changes passed 2-1 at Monday’s commission meeting. Those changes applied to wind development regulations and included changing the required setback distance from 10 times the tip height to 1,000 feet and also eliminating regulations for noise levels.

In addition, commissioners voted to reduce the notification and protest petition area from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet.

“We dismissed our lawsuit because the county commission has done the right thing, for lack of a better word,” said Chris Steincamp, attorney for the plaintiffs.

The suit was filed Nov. 30 and had been moving “slowly,” Steincamp said, because county officials had indicated to the plaintiffs they were considering making some changes to existing zoning regulations.

“We were trying to cooperate to give them the opportunity to do what we viewed as the right thing,” he said.

Plaintiffs in the case include: Martha L. and Thomas M. McClelland; Kathleen A. and Kurt Staab, trustees of the Kathleen A. Staab Revocable Trust No. 1 and the Benno F. Staab Irrevocable Trust No. 1; Ernest Pfeifer; T. Warren Hall; Kathy M. DeSaire; Stanley J. and Katrina A. Staab; Darrell Schmeidler; Verlin and Carol Armbrister, trustees of the Armbrister Trust dated Feb. 3, 2004; Gene and David Bittel, dba Bittel Farms Partnership; Honas Farms LLC; Alvin and Margaret Armbrister, trustees of the Armbrister Family Trust dated Feb. 9, 1999; Kurt and Janel Staab; Gary Deutscher; Francis C. and Todd F. Staab, trustees of the Francis C. Staab Revocable Trust No. 1 and the Myra Staab Irrevocable Trust No. 1; Todd F. and Jody L. Staab; Brian J. and Tonya L. Staab; Deanna L. Miller, trustee of VFM Holding “a trust;” Harold G. and Virgina B. Kraus; Steven and Jeri Homburg; and Invenergy Wind Development LLC.