Pure New Energy USA files lawsuit after Burleigh County Commission rejects wind farm proposal

By  | 

BISMARCK, N.D. - UPDATE: Supporters of a wind farm in Burleigh and Emmons County say the battle isn't over yet.

Pure New Energy has appealed to the district court after special use permits for up to 30 wind turbines in Morton Township were denied by the Burleigh County Commission last month.

It's been a fierce debate. Approval of 30 wind turbines in Morton Township has divided neighbors. Now, the issue is heading to court.

“In a court of law the truth comes out,” Dave Nehring said.

Nehring is against the project, but says it's unfortunate how it's divided the community. He's appreciative of the planning and zoning board and county commission for considering all the information presented, and says they were right to deny the permits because some of the towers were too high, and changing the specifications after approval isn't how business is done.

“Let the facts make the decision not changing after approval of a permit this isn't Chicago, this is Burleigh County,” Nehring said.

Commission Chairman Brian Bitner says it's within the rights of the company to file the appeal.

“Anyone aggrieved by a decision of the county commission can certainly appeal that decision to the district court,” Bitner said.

PNE representative Courtney Timmons said …………………..

The Burleigh County State's Attorney will be assisted by the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund in handling the case. They're currently preparing transcripts for the court to review.

ORIGINAL STORY: After Burleigh County Commissioners rejected a proposed wind farm in Burleigh and Emmons Counties, the company planning the project has filed a lawsuit.

Pure New Energy USA says the commission's decision on Jan. 7 was unreasonable and not based on the facts.

PNE says the project met all zoning requirements and was supported by the majority of affected residents and landowners.

"To come in and dictate what these people can and cannot do on their land when they're following the ordinances, they're following the rules in place, is incredibly unfortunate, and a very dangerous precedent for property rights in North Dakota," said PNE Business Development Director Courtney Timmons.

The appeal process in court will review the documentation and determine if the county was following its own rules.