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Court: Green Bay improperly revoked plant permit

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 25, 2014 at 7:04 pm •  Published: March 25, 2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The city of Green Bay overstepped its authority when it revoked a conditional use permit for an alternative energy plant backed by a company the Oneida Tribe owned, a Wisconsin appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Oneida Seven Generations Corp. and its subsidiary, Green Bay Renewable Energy, received a permit for a waste-to-energy facility. The Green Bay City Council voted in March 2011 to approve a Plan Commission recommendation to grant a permit to Seven Generations and granted it a building permit that August.

But after opposition to the plant grew, the city revoked the conditional use permit on Oct. 16, 2012, based on supposed misrepresentations opponents alleged Seven Generations made about the plant's potential environmental impact.

A circuit court agreed with the city's decision. Seven Generations appealed, and the appeals court agreed with the tribal company, WLUK-TV reported.

"Fickle and inconstant fairly describe the City's action here," the appeals court wrote in its decision. "We are disappointed the City did not so much as mention the Plan Commission's conclusions in its decisions."

The appeals court ruled the city failed to show proof of any misrepresentation on the corporation's part, Press-Gazette Media reported.

"Nowhere in its decision did the City actually identify the alleged misrepresentations," the appeals court said. "We cannot help but believe the City's decision was based not on a rational analysis of the statements Seven Generations made to the Plan Commission, but the public pressure brought to bear on the Common Council."

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