Ohio Supreme Court deals a blow to Greenwich Neighbors United

In a 4-3 decision, the OSC ruled the OPSB was within its authority to consider an amendment to the Huron County Greenwich Windpark project not subject to the setback legislation passed in 2014. Chief Justice O’Connor said  “amendment” has a specific statutory meaning for wind energy permits and did not apply to Greenwich’s request.”   However, in a dissenting opinion, the minority asserted “R.C. 4906.20(B)(2)(b)(ii) and 4906.201(B)(2) are unambiguous, and the board’s “interpretation” of these statutes is nothing more than policymaking in disguise. Rather than simply considering whether a project change requires an amendment to the certificate pursuant to the statutes, the board has instead adopted a case-by-case, cost-benefit analysis to decide when the new setbacks should apply to the amendment. “    The OSC Opinion is attached.   Those voting in favor of GNU were Justices Kennedy, DeWine and Stewart.  The Dissenting Opinion begins on page 19.    (Not that it matters, but a split decision by the court has no precedent-setting impacts on other cases.  Notwithstanding, this ruling is very disappointing. )