CLEAR LAKE – Judge Dawn Elshere took under advisement Thursday morning a case where 14 landowners sued the Deuel County Board of Adjustment regarding its decision to permit a wind energy project.
The case was heard in a Third Judicial Circuit courtroom in Clear Lake.
The lawsuit charges that two members of the adjustment board had signed wind tower lease agreements with a wind energy company before voting to approve the project. The five-member board voted unanimously on Jan. 22, 2018, to permit applications from project sponsor Invenergy.
In addition to the accusation of conflict of interest, the landowners say the board failed to properly consider the their objections and to issue written findings verifying that the turbines were placed in accordance with zoning ordinances.
The plaintiffs also noted that one board member had said at a previous meeting that additional wind tower setbacks would make it impossible to place towers on his father’s property.
Deuel County State’s Attorney John Knight had previously recused himself because of conflicts of interest, the lawsuit said, but advised the board during the Jan. 22 meeting.
In June of 2017, Deuel County had adopted stricter rules for wind development in response to heavy public input about two projects named Deuel Harvest Wind Energy. The first phase would place 130 turbines on private land, supposedly generating enough electricity to power 100,000 homes. If completed, it would be one of the largest wind projects in state history.
Elshere’s ruling allows her to consider the evidence and arguments and subsequently issue a ruling. There is no response unless the judge says one side can respond to the other party’s motion. There is no time frame for a ruling. Defendants won’t be brought back to court. The order or ruling will be sent to the lawyers.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding