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« Wind Energy's Impact on Land Value: an interview with George Clift | Main | A chat with Don Griffis about his Eagle Days »

March 21, 2008


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Texas  Land  Sales

It seems to me that the problem with such suits is that they could apply to any number of other situations - oil field being only one example. And that would be a hard to overcome later on,

Property in Turkey

Great post. I enjoyed reading thanks.


Appeals court upholds wind farm victory
ABILENE, Texas — An appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that people can't sue over wind turbines just because they don't like how they look.

Some landowners had sued in 2005 over FPL Energy's Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center near Abilene, saying the turbines were too loud, lowered their property values and ruined their scenic views.

Before the 2006 trial, the judge wouldn't let plaintiffs argue that the towering turbines were a nuisance based on their blinking lights or how they looked. After the two-week trial in which noise levels and land values were discussed, jurors ruled in favor of FPL Energy.

In a ruling issued Thursday, the 11th Court of Appeals said the trial judge did not err because Texas law "does not provide a nuisance action for aesthetical impact." But the appeals court seemed sympathetic to landowners.

"We do not minimize the impact of FPL's wind farm by characterizing it as an emotional reaction," the judges wrote in the ruling. "Unobstructed sunsets, panoramic landscapes, and starlit skies have inspired countless artists and authors and have brought great pleasure to those fortunate enough to live in scenic rural settings. The loss of this view has undoubtedly impacted plaintiffs."

The judges also ruled that the lower court would have to reconsider how much the plaintiffs would pay FPL Energy for its court costs.

Attorney Trey Cox of Dallas, representing FPL Energy, said the company was "very pleased" with the ruling.

"We think it's the right result," he said.

Plaintiffs' attorney Steve Thompson, of Houston, did not immediately return calls or e-mails from The Associated Press seeking comment Thursday.

Horse Hollow now spans about 60,000 acres in Taylor and Nolan counties in West Texas and has more than 400 turbines, according to Juno Beach, Fla.-based FPL Energy.

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