by EID Guest Blogger Jim Willis Publisher – Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
The Town of Highland enacted a “ban on heavy industrial uses associated with natural gas extraction” as Local Law No. 3 of 2012 in an act of political correctness. They are now being sued by an aggrieved landowner. Jim Willis posted the following story on his popular site this morning:
MDN is not used to breaking the news, but that’s what we’ll do today. The Town of Highland, located in Sullivan County, NY, is about to be sued by the Highland Field & Stream Club over the town’s vote to ban natural gas development.
MDN received the following email notification from the attorney for the Highland Field & Stream Club:
A Notice of Claim was filed by the Highland Field & Stream Club, Inc. against the Town of Highland and its’ elected officials.
The Notice of Claim is a precursor to legal action against the Town of Highland and it’s elected officials for conflicts between the town board and the Highland Field & Stream Club, Inc.
Furthermore, the Notice of Claim alleged the Town of Highland violated the constitutional rights of the Highland Field & Stream Club, Inc. by depriving the Highland Field & Stream Club, Inc. of its’ mineral rights without proper compensation when the town passed Local Law 3 on July 10, 2012, banning gas drilling.
Additional causes of action are also pled in the Notice of Claim filed with the Town of Highland Clerk on October 5, 2012.
Brian Troy, Esq.*
Apparently, town boards think the warning that they will force their taxpayers to incur heavy legal fees—or worse yet, be forced to pay compensation—if they press forward with bans and moratoria is an empty threat by the natural gas industry. No, it’s not. It’s a legitimate action by their fellow citizens who have had their constitutional property rights stripped away. Good for the Highland Field & Stream Club for sticking up for their rights.
Perhaps the taxpayers in the Town of Highland will want to reevaluate how much government and how much stealing of property rights they can afford.