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Case No. 19-1326

Madison County Coalition for Scenic Preservation LLC v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of Madison County

Madison County Coalition for Scenic Preservation LLC d/b/a Resident Rights Coalition of Madison County, Plaintiff-Appellant

vs.

Zoning Board of Adjustment of Madison County, Iowa, Defendant-Appellee

and

MidAmerican Energy Company, Intervenor-Appellee

Attorney for Appellant

Thomas S. Reavely

Attorney for Appellee Zoning Board of Adjustment

Andrew T. Schoonhoven and Matthew D. Schultz

Attorney for Appellee MidAmerican Energy

Brant M. Leonard, Bret A. Dublinske, and Kristy Dahl Rogers

Attorney for Amici Curiae

Channing L. Dutton

Michael B. Gerrard

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-1326
Date Published:
Jan 21, 2021
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Madison County, Bradley McCall, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (28 pages)

            MidAmerican Energy Company sought and obtained permission from the Zoning Board of Adjustment of Madison County, Iowa (the Board) to build a wind farm with fifty-two wind turbines in Madison County.  Madison County Coalition for Scenic Preservation LLC (the Coalition) petitioned for writ of certiorari challenging the Board’s approval of the wind farm, alleging the Board’s approval violated provisions of the Madison County Zoning Ordinance (the Ordinance) and was therefore illegal.  Following a remand to the Board for expanded findings of facts and conclusions of law, the district court concluded Board did not act illegally and annulled the Coalition’s writ.  On appeal, the Coalition challenges the court’s interpretation of the Ordinance and the court’s conclusions regarding what the Board understood it was being asked to do and what actions the Board took.  Additionally, the Coalition maintains there was not substantial evidence in the record to make the necessary findings to approve a conditional use permit and, even if there were, the findings the Board did make were not legally sufficient.  Finally, the Coalition challenges the adequacy of the notices.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court decision annulling the writ of certiorari and confirming the Board’s authority to grant the conditional use to allow the wind turbines.

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