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Hammond wind lawsuit heads to court

HAMMOND – A group of landowners challenging wind turbine restrictions in the town’s Wind Energy Facility Law will have their day in court March 16.

Landowners Michele W. and Daniel I. McQueer, Steven S. Demick, William F. Hadlock and Crayton L. Buck are bringing the legal challenge against the town in state Supreme Court in Canton.

The town will also have the opportunity to defend the law. The Wind Energy Facility Law was in order “to ensure that public health, safety and welfare will not be jeopardized” by the building of wind turbines, the law states.

Landowners claim that the law was arbitrary and discriminatory, and specifically targeted landowners who already had contracts in place to build turbines on their property by being overly restrictive in where wind turbines may be placed. The landowners will be represented by Scott B. Goldie of Conboy, McKay, Bachman & Kendall LLP, Canton.
“There is legal error in the manner in which they enacted this local law,” Mr. Goldie said Wednesday. “Both sides will be heard. Based on the facts, the courts will make a decision.”

Mr. Goldie and the landowners hope that the decision will result in a reversal of the law.

Michele M. McQueer, a landowner who is a plaintiff in the case, last year warned the board she would file legal action if they passed the law.

The law was enacted on Oct. 3. On Nov. 3, Mrs. McQueer and fellow landowners filed their petition.

“I’ll be glad when we finally get a decision,” said Mrs. McQueer.

When or if a decision will be reached about the fate of the law remains unseen.

“There could be a number of possibilities, any number of which may or may not be settled on the 16th,” said Mr. Goldie.