July 6, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Elliot Engstrom (919) 834-2099 email@example.com
CLF joins with Chowan County residents concerned for property rights, safety
The Civitas Institute Center for Law and Freedom (CLF) is advising a group of Chowan County residents who believe the county’s current ordinance regarding wind turbines does not adequately account for the health, safety, and property rights of county residents. The partnership is part of CLF’s ongoing mission to provide free legal representation to North Carolinians who face difficult legal and policy issues.
In October of 2013, Chowan County passed an ordinance to govern wind energy facilities. However, a group of concerned citizens felt the ordinance did not properly account for the health and safety of county residents. For example, the citizen group maintains that the ordinance does have sufficient property setback, volume limit, and escrow account requirements to assure that the interests of residents are accounted for.
A group of Chowan residents came together and independently performed a study on common wind energy ordinances. They found there were several simple ways the county’s current ordinance could be amended to protect county residents. Today, the group will present the Chowan County Commission with proposed amendments to the county’s current ordinance. The residents are concerned that the commission’s intent to write laws that attract wind energy developers has led to an ordinance that does not adequately protect the county’s people and land.
Last week, CLF attorney Elliot Engstrom wrote the County Commission ahead of today’s meeting. In that letter, Engstrom praised the commission for writing laws that have in mind economic development, but cautioned them that in this scenario the hazards of improperly regulated wind turbines outweigh the potential economic benefits to the county.
“Right now, our representation consists of helping this group of North Carolinians make their case to the Chowan County Commission,” Engstrom said. “Government bodies almost always have the benefit of legal counsel when facing complex issues, so we are happy to provide these North Carolinians with that same benefit.”
The citizens’ group, which has been operating with no legal counsel, was happy to have an attorney join them.
“We are thrilled that the Center has provided us with an attorney to help guide us through this process,” Chowan County resident Brian Ferraraccio said. “We hope that legal representation will both help us effectively demonstrate our case to the Commission and show the county government that we are very serious in our concerns.”
The goal of CLF and the citizens’ group is to see the proposed amendments enacted into law in Chowan County. The County Commission will decide at its meeting today whether to give the proposed amendments further consideration.
The Civitas Institute – “North Carolina’s Conservative Voice” – is a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy institute whose mission is to facilitate the implementation of conservative policy solutions to improve the lives of all North Carolinians. Towards that end, Civitas provides research, information and training to:
• empower citizens to become better civic leaders and more informed voters;
• educate emerging public leaders, enabling them to be more effective in the democratic process; and
• inform elected officials about citizen-based, free-market solutions to problems facing North Carolinians.
More information is available at www.nccivitas.org, or contact Jim Tynen at (919) 834-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.