ALLEGANY – Officials reported on Friday that Cattaraugus County Supreme Court Judge Michael Nenno dismissed a lawsuit in its entirety that had been filed by EverPower Wind LLC. against the Town of Allegany Planning Board.
Commenting on the lawsuit, John Hare, Allegany town supervisor, said the town’s attorneys had confirmed that they had received by mail on Friday the court’s decision concerning the lawsuit brought by EverPower against the town planning board.
“The court ruled in favor of the (planning board) on all issues brought forth in EverPower’s suit,” Mr. Hare said. “Our attorneys are still evaluating the full text of the judge’s decision. The town will not have any other comments on that decision until our attorneys have finished their review.”
For his part, Kevin Sheen, senior director of development for EverPower, said the company was “disappointed by some aspects of Judge Nenno’s decision and look forward to an appeal.”
The Allegany town board and planning board have been involved in a lengthy legal struggle with EverPower over the proposed construction of a 29-turbine wind farm on the Chipmonk and Knapp Creek hilltops. EverPower, which had received approval to build the controversial $160 million wind farm in 2011 from the previous town board, was initially stalled in construction through a lawsuit filed by Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County.
As was reported in the Olean Times Herald, EverPower filed a lawsuit against the town in October to enforce the terms of development contracts between the company and the town and to enjoin the town board from violating these contracts. EverPower officials also claimed that the town board’s plans to remove the wind overlay zoning district would ban the previously approved wind farm and violate the contract agreements it entered with EverPower.
The court proceeding against the town board is still pending, officials reported.
EverPower filed an additional lawsuit against the town planning board in November, which was the litigation reviewed over the past several weeks and dismissed this week by Judge Nenno.
The Planning Board lawsuit was based on EverPower’s objection to preparing and submitting a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for its proposed changes to the wind turbines to be used for the project and its objection to the planning board’s denial in granting an extension on the original project. The town’s consulting attorney, Dan Spitzer, had stated that he believed the latest lawsuit had no merit to it and was a continuing pattern by the company to use litigation as leverage in negotiations.
Gary Abraham, a member of Concerned Citizens, said the full decision, together with information on the lawsuits, are posted at http://www.garyabraham.com/Allegany.html.
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