August 22, 2012

Wind developer goes to court after opponents delay project

John Dillon | Vermont Public Radio | 21 August 2012

A wind developer has obtained a court order blocking private property owners from accessing their own land that lies within the blasting zone for the project.

Georgia Mountain Community Wind went to court last week after opponents of the project moved within the 1,000 foot safety zone and delayed a scheduled blast.

Ritchie Berger is the lawyer for Georgia Mountain Community Wind. He says Daniel FitzGerald, his son and other people were on the site last week to stall work on the project.

“So we needed the court to become involved simply for safety purposes to make sure that people stayed outside the blast safety zone just for the brief period of time that you set up and discharge the explosives and that is simply between 3 and 5 pm Monday and Friday,” he said.

Luke Snelling is with Energize Vermont, a group opposed to large-scale wind projects. He says it’s unusual for a court to bar people from using their own property.

“It sort of blows me away that we’re letting people – as long as they’re building renewable energy – throw property rights out the window and frankly let them abuse their neighbors,” Snelling said.

Renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf owns a majority stake in Georgia Community Wind. The company wants the four turbine project operating by the end of the year in order to qualify for a federal grant.

Another court hearing in the case is scheduled for August 30th.

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