FAIRBANK, Iowa (AP) — After losing an extended legal battle, a company is refusing to remove three wind turbines in northeast Iowa and is asking a court to reconsider a 2016 order and allow the structures to remain.
The Mason Wind, Dante Wind 6, Venus Wind 4 and Galileo Wind have also filed a new zoning application seeking a variance from Fayette County’s board of adjustment which would legalize the existing project, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported .
Opponents of the turbines are asking the Fayette County District Court to find the companies and county zoning officials in contempt of court for failing to remove them already.
Fairbank and group private owners sued in 2015 after zoning officials declared the turbines didn’t require special permit approval.
Mason Wind and the other firms unsuccessfully appealed the 2016 decision, which was reaffirmed earlier this month when the Iowa Supreme Court let the original ruling stand.
Company attorneys have requested to reconsider the district court decision, contending the order is too harsh given the circumstances and noting the companies have an avenue to legalize them through a zoning process.
“Because the turbines’ owners relied in good faith on certificates of zoning compliance issued by the Fayette County zoning administrator and engaged in no wrongdoing, it would be fundamentally unfair to require the turbines be removed,” the companies said in a May 17 court filing.
But attorneys for the city argued the companies continued building the turbines despite the pending lawsuit and failed to post a $450,000 bond to remove the structures as required by the court. They said the companies should be held in contempt for disregarding the court’s authority.
A hearing is scheduled for June 11 on the contempt issue and the application for a county zoning variance is expected to go to the board of adjustment soon.