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Wind farm zoning trial set

Staff writer

Trial has been rescheduled for May 1 in a lawsuit filed 2½ years ago by a company that lost its bid to install wind turbines south of US-50 in an area within a Flint Hills wind farm moratorium.

Trial was postponed from Dec. 5 because a lawyer for the plaintiffs had surgery.

Although lawyers for both the company and Marion County have filed a multitude of papers in the case, it has not been resolved. Many of the filings ask the court to make a decision without a trial.

Roger Buller of Stonebridge Investments LLC filed suit Sept. 25, 2020, claiming county zoning director Sharon Omstead was wrong when she deemed Buller’s company did not have standing to install turbines in an area originally planned for wind farm development by Rex Savage.

The Doyle 4 development was planned for near Florence. Savage eventually sold the project to Stonebridge and others. Stonebridge purchased rights to conditional use permits held by Windborne Energy in 2015.

In 2018, the county implemented a sunset clause that required companies to apply for building permits that year.

Buller seeks to have 2018 amendments to zoning regulations nullified and a ruling that he is owed more than $75,000.

Buller claims the county didn’t send Stonebridge written notice of the 2018 change, so it wasn’t aware of the change until February 2020. Stonebridge submitted four applications for building permit extensions that year. All were denied.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2023

 

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