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Hays Wind LLC joins lawsuit -9/25/2008, 10:47 AM

County files response to wind lawsuit -9/12/2008, 10:06 AM

Wind opponents file lawsuit -8/26/2008, 9:31 AM

Wind could blow into court -7/28/2008, 8:51 AM

Commissioners approve development plan -7/28/2008, 8:51 AM

Vote: Let 'er blow -7/28/2008, 4:03 PM

Commission says 'yes' -6/25/2008, 7:26 AM

Commissioners waive moratorium -6/2/2008, 11:43 AM

Wind farm company requests waiver -4/16/2008, 12:01 PM

Meridian Way Wind Farm to border U.S. Highway 81 -4/11/2008, 5:21 AM

Wind developer eyes two new locations -2/18/2008, 3:22 AM

Protest draws out wind talk -12/29/2007, 2:06 AM

Denial of permit sparks wind debate -11/23/2007, 2:06 AM

Supporters: No coal, lines means doom -11/12/2007, 2:06 AM

Iberdrola plans more towers -11/7/2007, 11:41 PM

Missouri wind farm is windfall for rural community -10/30/2007, 11:27 PM

Kansas has wind potential, if it is willing to act on it -10/23/2007, 11:26 PM

Wind talk becomes heated -10/2/2007, 11:26 PM

Wind farm company considers paying neighbors -9/13/2007, 11:26 PM

Reaction mixed on wind decision -9/6/2007, 11:26 PM

Hammond: Wind will blow -9/5/2007, 11:16 PM

Gone with the wind -9/4/2007, 11:16 PM

Wind farm decision towering -8/31/2007, 10:41 AM

Wind farm decision Sept. 4 -8/28/2007, 2:48 PM

CPV rep won't be at meeting -8/23/2007, 11:51 AM

Wind decision later this month ... maybe -8/15/2007, 4:18 PM

Springview wind turbines to be retired -7/17/2007, 10:35 AM

Commissioners: Wind farm's fate will wait -7/16/2007, 3:01 PM

Legislature studies effects of wind farms on health -7/15/2007, 4:05 PM

Protest petitions to be discussed -7/15/2007, 4:06 PM

Landowners may get offer from wind company -7/13/2007, 3:01 PM

Vandals deface wind signs -7/2/2007, 3:01 PM

Another wind farm petition reaches county clerk's desk -6/28/2007, 3:06 PM

Protest petition being verified -6/25/2007, 3:06 PM

Advocate of wind says make effort -6/21/2007, 3:06 PM

Supporters file own petition for wind farm -6/20/2007, 3:01 PM

Opponents file protest petition -6/20/2007, 3:01 PM

Opponents gain legal assistance -6/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Officials expect petition -6/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Commission addresses wind protest petition -6/11/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm gets nod -6/6/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm concerns brought before commission -6/5/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm decision looming -6/4/2007, 3:01 PM

-6/3/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind talk brings many voices -5/23/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind power bills just hot air, environmentalists say -5/23/2007, 3:01 PM

Attorney discusses wind farm with commissioners -5/21/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind meeting resumes Wednesday at Ellis County Fairgrounds -5/21/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind farm, zoning cause concerns -5/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm zoning timeline -5/17/2007, 3:01 PM

Concerns fly about birds -5/15/2007, 3:06 PM

Where the wind blows -5/10/2007, 3:06 PM

CPV says turbines will be pulled back -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

How other counties in Kansas are benefiting from wind farms -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind farm gets economical endorsement -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

Neighbors voice opposition to wind farm -5/3/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farms can generate more power, but may be deadly to bats and birds -5/3/2007, 4:03 PM

Opponents air wind concerns -5/2/2007, 3:06 PM

Location selection due to wind surveys -4/30/2007, 3:06 PM

Tests to determine wind farm's effect on power grid -4/28/2007, 4:13 PM

Wind farm talk gaining more speed -4/24/2007, 4:12 PM

New counsel for wind farm issues -4/17/2007, 4:14 PM

CPV Wind sold to new company -4/11/2007, 4:14 PM

Jeter resigns from wind farm counsel -4/9/2007, 4:21 PM

Commissioners hear wind farm feedback -4/2/2007, 4:16 PM

Weather forces wind meeting's end -3/28/2007, 4:22 PM

Wind farm debate blows into Hays -3/28/2007, 4:10 PM

Commission to discuss wind farm -3/26/2007, 4:22 PM

Developers ready to file for permit -2/28/2007, 4:23 PM

Wind farm application filed -1/6/2007, 4:20 PM

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Wind opponents file lawsuit

Published on -8/26/2008, 9:31 AM

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By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Opponents of a proposed wind farm southwest of Hays filed a lawsuit in Ellis County District Court on Tuesday seeking to reverse the decision to issue a conditional-use permit.

The lawsuit did not, however, ask for any type of restraining order.

The case was filed by Wichita attorney Patrick Hughes on behalf of 44 plaintiffs -- a virtual who's who of residents living in the area surrounding the proposed wind farm -- against the Ellis County Commission.

The lawsuit claims the proposed project requires the use of land not included within the conditional-use permit, that it would not comply with county zoning regulations, and that the commissioners' decisions to approve the development plan and permit were unreasonable and unlawful.

On July 28, commissioners voted 2-to-1 to approve the wind farm's development plan and the conditional-use permit application. The lawsuit had been expected to be filed by Thursday at the latest.

Because no restraining order was requested, Hughes said the lawsuit will proceed much like any other civil case, in that the defendants will have 20 days -- plus an automatic 10-day extension if requested -- to respond to the lawsuit.

Hughes said there was no need for a restraining order because development of a wind farm is a multimillion dollar project and likely would not take place in a short period of time. Construction of the 100-turbine, 200-megawatt wind farm is not expected to start for at least a year.

Neither Dennis Davidson, the Russell attorney who has been representing Ellis County on the wind issues, nor Mel Sauer, the attorney representing Hays Wind, could be immediately reached for comment. It's likely Hays Wind will ask to intervene in the lawsuit.

Hughes said that while the lawsuit was filed Tuesday, he had not yet received notice that a copy of the lawsuit had been served on the county.

"Right now, the next step is to get an answer from them," Hughes said.

Once the county has filed its response, attorneys and the court will conduct a scheduling conference to determine dates of hearings and deadlines for filing any documents or motions.

The five-page lawsuit details the chronology of events that ultimately resulted in the county's decision to issue a conditional-use permit for Hays Wind.

After first being denied a permit, Hays Wind sought a waiver from the county's one-year waiting period for filing a subsequent application. Commissioners granted the waiver June 2.

"Hays Wind LLC submitted an incomplete conditional-use permit application and development plan application along with its request for a waiver," the lawsuit states.

It went on to say the permit application "placed the proposed facility on essentially the same property as the original application," but excluded land that was within 1,000 feet of any neighbor who had not signed an easement agreement.

Doing so, the lawsuit says, meant the "neighbors would not have protest rights ... with respect to the new application and so that a 2-1 county commission vote in favor of the application would result in its approval."

After the filing waiver was approved, the application then went to the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission, which ultimately voted June 25 to recommend approval of the permit to the commissioners.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are: Timothy O. Davis, Penny J. Davis, Rod Bittel, Pat Bittel, Anthony Eller, Deb Eller, A.J. Pfannenstiel, Linda K. Pfannenstiel, C.J. Pfannenstiel, Georganna G. Johnson, Wilfred T. Barnes, Mary C. Barnes, Sally E. Gager, Vernon F. Riedel, Jeanne M. Riedel, Keith F. Pfannenstiel, Jody Pfannenstiel, James Kramer, Luanne Kramer, Mike E. Butler, Sheryl Butler, Jane Matlock, Paul W. Faber, Jacinta Faber, Mary Meier, Linda Donlay, William T. Wierman, Agnes M. Wierman, Terence J. Wierman, Gary M. Fagan, Doug Marrs, Maren K. Moody, Mary Barnes, John Barnes, Wanda L. Pinkington, J.P. Michaud, Angela K. Grant, Clara Kramer, Robert A. Kramer, Helen M. Miles, Marion Brown, Jerry Wiedeman, Dianne Wiedeman and Louis D. Bowman, doing business as Bowman Oil. Co.

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