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Court of Appeals reverses portions of decision in solar company’s dispute with township  

Credit:  Rachel Greco | Lansing State Journal | Feb. 22, 2021 | www.lansingstatejournal.com ~~

CHARLOTTE – The state’s Court of Appeals has issued an opinion reversing portions of an Eaton County judge’s decision a year after his dismissal of a Minnesota-based solar and wind energy company’s lawsuit arguing an interim zoning ordinance adopted by Benton Township wasn’t valid.

Sandstone Creek Solar, LLC, a subsidiary of National Grid Renewables, formerly Geronimo Energy, filed the appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals in February 2020, according to court documents.

It came after Circuit Court Judge John Maurer denied a request from Sandstone Creek for a preliminary injunction on the interim zoning ordinance Benton Township enacted in November 2019.

The ordinance was enacted to block an 850-acre solar array the company proposed building in the township. Benton Township fell under Eaton County’s ordinances prior to enacting the interim measure.

The Court of Appeals opinion, issued Feb. 4, affirmed “the trial court’s denial of the motion for preliminary injunction,” and upheld portions of Maurer’s dismissal of the lawsuit.

But, according to its opinion, the court “erred in dismissing” two claims in the lawsuit “without notice and hearing on those Counts.”

Those claims “sought declaratory judgment that Benton Township had improperly imposed a moratorium on projects within the township.”

“…the record does not convince us that plaintiffs were on notice that the trial court was prepared to consider the dismissal of those claims,” reads the Court of Appeals opinion.

Messages left Friday morning with Chris Patterson, an attorney representing Benton Township in the lawsuit, weren’t returned.

Source:  Rachel Greco | Lansing State Journal | Feb. 22, 2021 | www.lansingstatejournal.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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