A Northern District of Illinois federal judge has once again swatted away a court challenge to Ogle County’s wind turbine farm ordinance.
On July 16, Rockford-based United States Seventh District Court Judge Frederick Kapala for a third time rejected a federal lawsuit brought by Ogle County resident Patricia Muscarello in an effort to invalidate zoning ordinances to permit a wind farm in the county.
Muscarello argued that the wind farm would cause property value to fall on the land that she used to own in the county.
Kapala dismissed the complaint against Ogle County for multiple legal reasons, including the fact that Muscarello no longer owned the property upon which she based her complaint, denying her legal standing in court and rendering her suit, in the judge’s words, “moot”.
Since December 21, 2005, Muscarello has filed three federal complaints – the latest on January 1, 2013 – to challenge the Ogle County Board’s decision to allow Baileyville, a Minnesota corporation, to build a wind turbine farm near her property.
Muscarello, who also filed a lawsuit on the issue against nearby Winnebago County in 2012, alleged the wind turbine farm would have caused a 20% decrease in the value of her land, amounting to approximately $367,200.
In addition to alleged land value loss, Muscarello also claimed that the wind farm would interfere with her television and cell phone reception, create a risk of rotor blades flying onto her property, and threaten her with personal injury from “stray voltage” or lightning.
“The federal court has repeatedly dismissed Ms. Muscarello litany of legal challenges to Ogle County’s wind turbine ordinance, because those suits bordered on the frivolous and because state court, not federal court, was the proper venue,” said attorney Michael Del Galdo, partner at the Del Galdo Law Group in Berwyn, Illinois, whose firm successfully represented the county.
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