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Wind towers coming down under court orders

FAIRBANK, Iowa (AP) — Developers are taking down three northeast Iowa wind turbine towers under court orders.

The first was removed last week and the second is going down this week, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported.

The 450-foot-tall towers were erected in 2015 just east of Fairbank in Fayette County. They drew opposition from housing developers and neighboring homeowners who believed the towers would be detrimental to the city.

Fairbank City Council members filed a lawsuit that said the county issued construction permits without following zoning ordinances. Woods Construction, which had been developing a residential subdivision near the wind farm, filed a separate suit.

A judge sided with the city in 2016, and the Iowa Supreme Court upheld that ruling. The turbines must be removed by Dec. 9.

Resident Joyce Kerns said she’s happy with the decision to remove the turbines.

“I’m thrilled,” Kerns said. “The constant whoosh, whoosh, whoosh sound they make is nonstop . and the shadow effect was like I was back in the ’70s with the disco strobe light.”

The developers — Mason Wind, Dante Wind 6, Galileo Wind 1 and Venus Wind 4 — are still appealing in the courts. The companies requested a variance from the Fayette County Board of Adjustment to allow the turbines to remain. The companies are appealing the board’s June decision to deny the request.

“While we continue to seek other avenues to allow those investments in wind energy to remain in Fayette County, until we get a different ruling the wind LLCs will continue to fully comply with the order currently in effect,” said Bret Dublinske, an attorney for the companies.

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