Judge dismisses lawsuit against Linn County Board of Supervisors for decision on Coggon Solar Project

A lawsuit challenging construction of a solar farm, near Coggon, has been dismissed. The project will affect 640 acres of farmland.
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 4:13 PM CST
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CENTRAL CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A judge has ruled against an Iowa family in their lawsuit against the Linn County Board of Supervisors.

In January 2022, the Linn County Board of Supervisors approved the Coggon Solar Project 2-1. The project will turn 640 acres of agricultural farmland into a Solar Farm. The farm will supply more than 18,000 Iowa homes with energy for 20 years, allowing the energy to then be sold for the remaining 15 years of the project.

The board did approve changes from the original proposal. The neighbors will be given a 300-foot clearance from the solar farm rather than 50. Coggon Solar LLC will also be required to add trees or shrubs to block neighbors’ views of the solar farm.

Plaintiffs in the case argued that ‘The Rezoning Ordinance’ that the Board of Supervisors passed violated their constitutional rights as the ordinance would devalue their property, intrude upon their drainage easement rights, and create a loss in the productivity of their agricultural land.

The judge dismissed it saying Supervisors considered everything correctly and included conditions in the rezoning to protect neighbors and the environment:

“A review of the substantial file establishes that the Board had sufficient information in front of it to determine this was an appropriate decision for the community as a whole. It is not the role of the Court to substitute its judgment for that of the elected officials in this case. There is substantial evidence in the record to show the zoning decision at issue balanced the goals and strategies of the Comprehensive Plan...”

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