Cohocton Wind Watch: E-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO 2000 June 19, 2008: Vol. 2, No. 3
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Sunday, June 22, 2008

E-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO 2000 June 19, 2008: Vol. 2, No. 3

The Stark and Warren town boards voted this month to abandon their appeals from the decision in Brander et al v. Town of Warren Town Board et al. The developers Jordanville Wind, LLC and Community Energy, Inc., who are affiliates of the Spanish conglomerate Iberdrola, also failed to perfect their appeals. As a result, the Brander decision ruling that the Jordanville Wind Power Project was approved by the town boards in violation of state law and awarding attorney's fees in favor of the petitioners for the towns' violations of the Open Meetings Law will stand and becomes final, explained Douglas H. Zamelis, attorney for the petitioners.

The Brander decision was significant because the Supreme Court of New York expressly found that the actions of the town boards in approving the project were "arbitrary, capricious and unsupported by substantial evidence." The decision of the court was grounded on evidence that the towns failed to consider alternatives to the project, including the alternative of no project whatsoever, and refused to adequately consider mitigation of the project's negative effects on the significant cultural and historic resources of the region. "It's time to do the right thing and go back to the drawing board," said Sue Brander, one of 15 people who sued the towns and the project's developer. "People whose property and health were at stake had no other choice but to challenge this project. We had to take the towns and the developer to court to protect our rights and we won."

Representatives from Jordanville Wind, LLC and Community Energy, Inc. said at the June 9 Warren Town Board meeting that they planned to present a revised, 40 turbine, 80 megawatt project schedule at next month's meeting. It remains to be seen whether the revised project will meet the legal requirements imposed by existing state and federal law and the reasoning of the now final Brander decision.

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