Library filed under Legal from Iowa
My advice: Do not sign an easement that would affect the legacy of your land and never sign anything without an attorney present. Many Iowa attorneys are held on retainer by an energy company; be sure yours is not. Easement law is not common knowledge in Iowa as it is in the West, where landowners have dealt with water or mineral rights for generations. Get an attorney who understands easement law.
To date, the county has spent $22,725 on lawyers for work related to the Expedition Wind project since National Renewable Solutions purchased the project from an earlier developer. The county spent $2,973 on legal expenses with the earlier developer. County clerk Tina Spencer said Expedition has reimbursed the county $16,600 of those expenses.
Harold Youngblut filed an appeal Thursday challenging District Court Judge Kellyann Lekar’s April 29 ruling in favor of Washburn Wind Energy’s 35-turbine wind farm. The notice filed by Youngblut’s attorney, John Holmes, claims the district court erred when it failed to allow Youngblut and others to testify the turbine locations are currently used for agricultural purposes as defined in the county zoning ordinance.
The Iowa Judicial Building.
WATERLOO — A local farmer has lost his legal challenge against a planned wind energy project in southern Black Hawk County.
“(Potential buyers) are unwilling to enter into an agreement … until the legal proceedings are resolved,” Law said. “In addition, it is unreasonable and unwise for Washburn to commence construction of the project unless or until it has a purchase agreement in place and the legal proceedings have been completed.”
Swanson said rural Iowa families shouldn't have to suffer wind turbines — which compact soil during construction and hurt crop yields — to satisfy urban residents' need to feel good about the environment. ..."What we care about is our homes, our health, our land, our wildlife and our economy," which are jeopardized by wind projects, said Swanson, a board member of the Coalition for Rural Property Rights, along with Youngblut.
A three-judge panel of the Iowa Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal filed by attorneys for Mason Wind, Dante Wind 6, Galileo Wind 1 and Venus Wind 4, which are under a Fayette County District Court order to remove three turbines by Dec. 9.
“I’m thrilled,” Kerns said. “The constant whoosh, whoosh, whoosh sound they make is nonstop … and the shadow effect was like I was back in the ’70s with the disco strobe light. “I couldn’t sit outside in the evening,” she added. “Until you live near one, you don’t know what it’s like.”
Holmes contends the hearing and vote was moot because the correct way to handle the request would have been through a rezoning application to the elected Board of Supervisors. “(The Board of Adjustment) have no power to grant a special exemption on land that is exempt from zoning,” he said. “They should have just gone home.”
Bauercamper found the wind companies in contempt of court earlier this year and ordered the turbines to cease energy production by July 2 and be removed at the turbine developers’ cost by Dec. 9. The turbines have stopped spinning.
The Iowa Supreme Court has dealt another blow to three controversial wind energy turbines just east of Fairbank. The high court on Tuesday rejected a request from the turbine developers to review a district court order requiring the structures be removed by Dec. 9.
District Court Judge John Bauercamper ordered county officials and the wind companies to take steps to demolish the structures, but he put the order on hold while companies appealed his decision, subject to the posting of a $450,000 bond to cover removal costs. ...On June 12, Bauercamper issued his contempt ruling, noting in part the $450,000 bond was never filed.
The action filed by attorney John Holmes details numerous reasons Youngblut believes the board’s action violated provisions of the zoning ordinance. Those include failure to provide unique and compelling evidence to rezone high-value agricultural land; failing to provide proper signed lease agreements with landowners; and excluding a definition of shadow flicker caused by turbine blades.
A group of companies operating the turbines just east of Fairbank have asked Fayette County District Court to reconsider a 2016 order declaring the structures were built in violation of zoning laws and must be torn down.
A zoning administrator acted illegally when she granted applications to a company to build turbines on agricultural land north and east of Fairbank. That’s what the Iowa Court of Appeals said in a Feb. 21 ruling.
FAIRBANK — The Iowa Court of Appeals dealt a blow Wednesday to three wind turbines built just east of Fairbank.
They are asking that the Court set aside the declaratory order issued by the Respondent (Iowa Utilities Board) on Feb. 2, and that the Court declare that a facility as defined in Iowa Code 476A.1(5), with regard to wind energy projects, is the entire project that is being developed as one project, and for such other and further relief as the Court deems appropriate.
Before the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a construction contract for a wind farm in the northeast portion of the county on Oct. 24, a lawsuit was filed against the developer and owner of the project.
Attorneys for Mason Wind and Optimum Renewables turned to the state’s high court this month after a district court judge deemed three turbines in a farm field just east of Fairbank are “illegal and void” and must be removed.