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Wind park lawsuit filed

A lawsuit has been filed against San Juan County by a group of property owners who oppose the Latigo Wind Park. Members of the Northern Monticello Alliance (NMA) own property within an 80-acre parcel in the middle of the wind park.

On January 7, the group filed suit in Seventh District Court to stop a recent San Juan County decision that allowed the project to proceed. They ask that the county decision be declared null and void.

The $125 million Latigo Wind Park project is substantially completed, with approximately two-thirds of the 27 assembled towers currently capable of generating power.

In 2012, the project, then owned by Wasatch Wind, received a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the county. While there have been several adjustments to the CUP since then, it has remained in effect, despite several challenges and appeals to the county and its planning and zoning board.

The project, now nearly completed, is now owned by sPower.

The CUP required that the project developers take steps – “as much as possible” – to mitigate the impact of the project on surrounding property owners.

Concerns that were mentioned include the impact of flicker from the shadow of the giant blades, the red aviation warning lights, and the noise from the spinning blades. Several surrounding property owners have accepted mitigation steps offered by sPower.

While the parties negotiated a written purchase agreement option to purchase the NMA properties, the option was never exercised. Several of the property owners have sold their property to sPower, but the majority have remained united as the NMA.

Property owners include several local residents, in addition to out-of-area landowners. The owners include several prior employees of the Latigo project who left the project early in the process.