Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009 Press Release

The plaintiffs who are challenging the conditional use permit granted to Hays Wind LLC last summer filed a Motion for Summary Judgment today in Ellis County District Court. The motion lays out in detail the reasons the plaintiffs claim that the decision was unlawful and must be reversed. The filing identifies dozens of landowners who were not given notice of the planning commission public hearing despite legal requirements that notice be mailed to them. Those include owners of land within the project boundaries, neighbors, and owners of mineral interests.

The plaintiff’s also argue that Hays Wind did not provide the information the Ellis County zoning regulations require before a conditional use permit application can be set for a public hearing. The memorandum also states that Hays Wind improperly excluded from its Conditional Use Permit application some of the land it plans to use for the wind energy conversion system in order to avoid giving notice to some of the neighbors and in an effort to deprive them of the right to file protest petitions.

Tim Davis, a spokesperson for the plaintiffs, said “We have long been saying that this process was corrupted and failed to follow the law. This summary judgment motion backs that up. We believe that the evidence is so clear that the Ellis County Commission, as it did with the cell tower conditional use permit near Victoria last month, should step up to the plate and simply agree the decision should not stand for the reasons our motion explains. Enough effort has gone into trying to defend the indefensible.”

Oral arguments on the motion for summary judgment are scheduled for February 27, 2009. If the court grants the motion, Hays Wind LLC will have the opportunity to file its conditional use permit request again, correctly, following a moratorium discussed by the Ellis County Commission at their meeting on January 19, if that moratorium is implemented. “If the law is followed the next time around,” Davis said, “we believe the conditional use permit will be denied.”