Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Ind. Gov't. - "Court of Appeals to hear Rush County wind case next month"
James Sprague writes in a long story in the Connersville News Examiner:
RUSHVILLE — It’s going to be a busy, and momentous, coming weeks for the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals regarding the subject of wind energy.
The fate of two proposed wind projects, at least in Rush County – the Flat Rock Wind Project led by Apex Clean Energy, and the West Fork Wind Energy Center, led by NextEra Energy Resources – could very well be determined in the next month, beginning this very week.
The Rush County BZA on Wednesday night will continue its meeting from November, where the board heard about and considered information regarding the special exception permits, submitted by NextEra, on behalf of the West Fork Wind Energy Center. * * *
Then, almost a month to the day after the Rush County BZA will decide on the future of one wind project, its decision in another such project will be argued in front of the Indiana State Court of Appeals in Indianapolis.
The Court of Appeals, last week, set a date of Friday, Jan. 13, for oral arguments in the ongoing civil case involving the Rush County BZA and Apex Clean Energy, also known as Flat Rock Wind LLC., regarding the proposed Flat Rock Wind Farm project.
That battle between the BZA and Apex Clean Energy revolves around the BZA’s decision in July 2015 to enact a 2,300-foot setback distance, from non-participating property lines, on Apex’s special exception permits for construction of industrial wind turbines as part of their proposed wind project.
That decision by the BZA was later upheld, during a challenge by Apex in Rush Superior Court, by Judge Matthew D. Bailey. Apex argued that the BZA does not have the authority to change the setback distance from the county-stated minimum of 1,000 feet, while Bailey ruled that the BZA did, in fact, have such authority. The decision led to Apex appealing the ruling, thus sending the case to the Court of Appeals.