Published on:

Court Upholds Finding That Wind Powered Generators are a Utility

In the emerging area of wind power the Appellate Division upheld the decision of a local zoning board that wind powered generators are a utility. In Matter of Wind Power Ethics Group v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Cape Vincent, the Court found that the interpretation that wind powered generators fit the definition of utility in the local zoning ordinance was a “rational construction… entitled to deference.” The local zoning ordinance defines a utility as “telephone dial equipment centers, electrical or gas substations, water treatment or storage facilities, pumping stations and similar facilities.” The court concluded the determination that a wind powered generator is a utility “is neither irrational nor unreasonable, and that the determination is supported by substantial evidence.”