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Indiana Supreme Court won't consider lawsuit against Lone Oak Solar

The Herald Bulletin|Ken de la Bastide|November 11, 2021
IndianaLegalPhotovoltaic Solar
The Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal from local residents on the approval of the proposed Lone Oak Solar Farm in northern Madison County. The Indiana Court of Appeals in July decided not to accept a civil lawsuit filed by opponents of the project for judicial review. The opponents raised several concerns about membership on the Board of Zoning Appeals and the potential impact on property values.

ANDERSON — The Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal from local residents on the approval of the proposed Lone Oak Solar Farm in northern Madison County.
 
The Indiana Court of Appeals in July decided not to accept a civil lawsuit filed by opponents of the project for judicial review. The opponents raised several concerns about membership on the Board of Zoning Appeals and the potential impact on property values.
 
The local residents requested transfer to the state’s highest court which was denied.
 
With the decision by the Indiana Supreme Court, the Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals’ approval of the project remains in effect.
 
The BZA in May 2019 voted to approve a special use for the original $110 million project that will produce 120 megawatts of electricity. The approval included a 500-foot setback from nonparticipating property owners. It also included an extension of time for construction to start no later than Dec. 31, 2023, and increased the bond amount for the decommissioning of the solar farm to $5.6 million.
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ANDERSON — The Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal from local residents on the approval of the proposed Lone Oak Solar Farm in northern Madison County.
 
The Indiana Court of Appeals in July decided not to accept a civil lawsuit filed by opponents of the project for judicial review. The opponents raised several concerns about membership on the Board of Zoning Appeals and the potential impact on property values.
 
The local residents requested transfer to the state’s highest court which was denied.
 
With the decision by the Indiana Supreme Court, the Madison County Board of Zoning Appeals’ approval of the project remains in effect.
 
The BZA in May 2019 voted to approve a special use for the original $110 million project that will produce 120 megawatts of electricity. The approval included a 500-foot setback from nonparticipating property owners. It also included an extension of time for construction to start no later than Dec. 31, 2023, and increased the bond amount for the decommissioning of the solar farm to $5.6 million.
 
Invenergy said the additional acreage was required because of the increased setback requirements.
 
In their appeal of the BZA decision, the local residents pointed to the fact that one board member was not a resident of Madison County and another member at first recused themselves and later voted for the approval of the project.
 
“Obviously the community is very disappointed, but we are not surprised,” resident Denise Spooner said of the Supreme Court’s decision. “We will always believe our attorney did an excellent job and the case law he presented was superior and made more sense.”
 
Spooner said the biggest disappointment was the argument over the variance granted to ignore property lines.
 
“The attorney for the community explained that ordinary citizens will have to be educated more than ever to research the validity of board members and file lawsuits before any votes,” she said.
 
Spooner said county residents are growing in opposition to solar projects.
 
Invenergy put on hold the Lone Oak Solar Energy Center in 2019 after the Madison County Council voted to rescind the economic revitalization area designation, effectively eliminating the possibility of obtaining a tax abatement.
 
Katya Samoteskul with Invenergy said in July the company is hopeful county officials will approve a tax abatement for the project.
 
“Invenergy still has options on the properties that are part of the project,” she said. “We are hoping to start construction as early as next year.
 
Invenergy is hoping to construct a $110 million solar energy facility on about 1,249 acres in Monroe and Pipe Creek townships.

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:https://www.heraldbulletin.co…

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