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Ruling Issued On Wind Energy Lawsuit

August 3, 2018
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

by Anesa McGregor

A District Court Judge has issued a ruling in connection with a lawsuit filed against the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors in late 2017. In a documents filed with the Palo Alto County Clerk of Court's office, the Honorable District Court Judge Nancy L. Whittenburg ruled in favor of the Board of Supervisors in a lawsuit filed by seven Palo Alto County residents.

The lawsuit originally filed by plaintiffs Bertha Mathis, Stephen Mathis, Susanne Reding, Thomas F. Stillman, Michael J Reding, Lois T. Stillman and Tillford England against the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors, along with Palo Alto Wind Energy LLC and MidAmerican Energy Company. Judged Whittenburg issued her ruling on Wednesday, July 25.

In the original lawsuit, the Plaintiffs alleged that the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors had no authority to change the wording of the draft ordinance presented to them by Planning and Zoning nor did they have authority to approve a permit to Palo Alto Wind Energy LLC.

The Court found that the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors had the authority and followed the required procedure to adopt the Wind Energy Conversion System ordinance. It was determined that the rationality of the adopted terms in the ordinance is fairly arguable and not an abuse of discretion.

The Court decided that it would not substitute its judgment for that of the Board of Supervisors sitting as a legislative body. Palo Alto Wind Energy is the owner/developer for the purpose in applying for the Wind Energy Conversion System permit.

The Court also concluded that the plaintiffs in this case raised no issues of significant fact and only challenged the legal sufficiency of the Board's actions. The Board's approval of Palo Alto Wind Energy's application was reinforced by significant evidence on every issue challenged by the plaintiffs.

In the court documents the judge stated "It is therefore ordered: The Intervenors' Motion for Summary Judgment, joined by Defendant Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors, is Sustained and the case Dismissed with costs taxed to the Plaintiffs."

 
 
 

 

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