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Ranch sues county over wind turbine setbacks  

Credit:  By DAVID COLBURN, News editor | Marion County Record | April 29, 2015 | www.marionrecord.com ~~

A local ranch has filed suit against Marion County in an attempt to reverse wind energy zoning changes it alleges increase safety hazards.

“We’re concerned about the health, safety, and welfare of these and want to be sure it’s properly protected,” said Robert Titus, Wildcat Creek Ranch, LLC attorney. He declined further comment.

County commissioners amended the regulations in March by reducing the minimum distance between a wind turbine tower and a leaseholder’s residence from 1,320 feet to 500 feet. The petition filed by Wildcat Creek Ranch alleges the change unreasonably increases safety risks to property owners in and around wind farms.

The suit also targets the process used to amend the regulations. The petition alleges commissioners failed to consider the impact on nearby property owners, and did not follow established rules regarding the process for amending the regulations. It further alleges the change was a direct result of “prejudgment” by commissioners, and that the process was “not fair, open, or impartial.”

A ruling in favor of Wildcat Creek Ranch would reverse the zoning change and reinstitute the 1,320-foot minimum distance requirement.

Design modeling for turbine placements for the Doyle Creek wind farm project prompted the regulatory change.

County attorney Susan Robson declined comment.

“We don’t comment on pending litigation against the county,” she said.

The county has until May 6 to file a written response to the petition with the district court.

Source:  By DAVID COLBURN, News editor | Marion County Record | April 29, 2015 | www.marionrecord.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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