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Dan’s Mountain wind project remains on hold

CUMBERLAND – A local couple have remained busy in their effort to derail a plan to construct wind turbines on Dan’s Mountain.

Harwood subdivision residents Darlene and William Park, with the support of numerous neighbors, have been engaged in a legal battle against Dan’s Mountain Wind Force LLC. Their efforts have led to the project being stalled as they battle it in two courts.

Dan’s Mountain Wind Force LLC developed plans several years ago to construct 17 wind turbines on the mountain near the community of Midland, the Harwood subdivision, along with Vale Summit, Cresaptown and Bel Air. The Parks formed Allegany Neighbors and Citizens for Home Owners Rights Limited, or ANCHOR, to fight the project.

The ANCHOR group is currently fighting two rulings that went against it. Hearings in the Allegany County Circuit Court and the Public Service Commission both gave favorable rulings for the project. However, the Parks remain undeterred.

“We are 13 years in fighting it,” said Darlene Park. “We have to continue the fight. No (Dan’s Mountain Wind Force) didn’t do things right. You can’t keep coming back to the well to get what you want.”

After receiving back-to-back legal victories, Dan’s Mountain Wind Force wanted to begin building on Dec. 19. However, ANCHOR appealed the rulings, based largely on errors they feel were made in the process.

A ruling for Dan’s Mountain Wind Force made in the Allegany County Circuit Court is being revisited in the Maryland Special Court of Appeals in Annapolis with attorney Paul Flynn representing ANCHOR.

“I’ve read what Paul wrote. I feel that Paul is very strong in his briefs and rebuttal about having the case dismissed,” said Darlene Park, “that they did not follow the original order back in 2018 on how to determine some of the factors.”

The Parks also took on a PSC ruling. The appeal was heard by Judge Jeffrey M. Geller in the Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Park said Dan’s Mountain Wind Force has not been forthcoming in regard to the size and power of the turbines planned for the site.

“We still have a lot of support and we need the support,” said Darlene Park. “It’s the wrong location in a narrow strip between five communities.”

David Friend, managing partner with Laurel Renewable Partners, LLC, the parent company of Dan’s Mountain Wind Force, issued a statement.

“Mrs. Park is continuing to try to delay a $100 million project that will bring more than $1 million in new property taxes to Allegany County annually,” Friend said in an email. “The delays so far have likely cost the county $10 (million) to $15 million, so far. The project has the necessary zoning approval from Allegany County and the required permit from the Maryland Public Service Commission. Both cases are under appeal in Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals. We believe we have the stronger case and will continue to fight to bring this important economic development project to fruition.”