City of Kawartha Lakes loses fight to deny power developer road use

LongRoad-Naturally

My Kawartha

KAWARTHA LAKES – A Superior Court judge came down hard on the City of Kawartha Lakes in deciding in favour of wpd Sumac Ridge Wind Incorporated in a case involving an access road.       

In a decision released on Aug. 13, the Court ruled the City had acted in “bad faith” when council passed “an unwilling host bylaw” in 2014 denying the wind energy company the use of Wild Turkey Road in Manvers Township to access its provincially-approved wind turbine project. The case was heard in April.       

The City was ordered to pay $55,000 to wpd, an amount fixed upon and agreed to by both sides prior to the hearing.         

The company received provincial approval (called a Renewable Energy Approval or REA) for Sumac Ridge in 2013, and several groups, including Manvers Wind Concerns, launched an appeal through the Environmental Review Tribunal. They lost that appeal earlier this year and are currently awaiting a ministerial decision.         

In its application for judicial review, wpd claimed that the City “deliberately frustrated the REA and acted in bad faith in denying wpd the use of a roadway, Wild Turkey Road, which wpd characterizes as the ‘spine’ of the project approved by the Province,” the court document states.         

What is perhaps harsher is the judge’s finding that the City passed the resolution in a deliberate attempt to keep the Sumac Ridge project from moving forward and that council used its municipal power in bad faith.

Read the full story here.

Wind Concerns Ontario note: some organizations have been advising municipalities to deny wind power developers use of public roads; this has one again been proven here to be inappropriate and misguided advice. The decision in this case may be read here: http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2015/2015onsc4164/2015onsc4164.html

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