Two court rulings in favor of a Muskogee County resident who fought construction of a 250-foot cellphone tower and called it a nuisance is being described as a warning to the state’s wind energy industry, according to a report in the Journal Record.
A State Appeals court recently upheld a lower court ruling that the telecommunications tower built on property near Ken Laubenstein’s home was a nuisance. Whether it will be removed is another matter since BoDe Tower officials aren’t sure if they will ask the State Court of Civil Appeals to reconsider the case or take it to the State Supreme Court. Laubenstein filed suit in 2010 and won a favorable ruling in a 2013 trial before Muskogee County Associate District Judge Norman D. Thygesen who said the BoDe Tower had to be “removed.” He gave the company 60 days to bring it down, then stayed the order while the case went to the state appeals court.
But now some are wondering how the ruling might impact the state’s growing wind farms and possibly a lawsuit filed by landowners in Canadian and Kingfisher Counties against Apex Clean Energy Inc.
“It could be a shot across the bow for the wind industry,” said attorney Terry Stowers who leads the Coalition of Oklahoma Surface and Mineral Owners. He told the Journal Record the case could be translated in such a way that if a wind turbine’s ruled a nuisance, a judge could perhaps order it to be brought down.
Read full story in Journal Record.
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