In a letter to The Daily Star in August 2012, Kitty Ballard, who was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, wrote that “This racetrack has been and continues to be misrepresented since day one.”
There are likely to be appeals in one or both cases. It could have saved the expense and uncertainty of litigation had town officials paid more attention to their laws and the ramifications of their approvals.
If Richfield didn’t have such stringent land-use laws, the opponents of this wind project would likely not have had a prayer. Meanwhile, in the town of Harpersfield, a lack of zoning laws meant that it was almost entirely up to the town planning board to decide what the New York Safety Track could and could not do. In both cases, we are reminded of the power that our local officials have over our communities — for better and, sometimes, for worse.