Description: Challenge to local ordinances that allowed for installation of solar energy array for Six Flags theme park.
Clean Water Action v. Jackson Township
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/19/2017 Opinion Download Opinion issued upholding ordinances. In Dismissing Challenge to Six Flags Solar Facility, New Jersey Court Said Township Appropriately Considered Benefits of Renewable Energy. A New Jersey Superior Court dismissed a challenge to municipal approvals for a 21 megawatt solar array on 67 acres owned by Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc. at its theme park in Jackson Township in Ocean County. The plaintiffs alleged that land use ordinances that permitted the solar array conflicted with the Jackson Township’s Master Plan. The court noted that the solar array would meet substantially all of the Six Flags theme park’s energy needs and reduce reliance on carbon-emitting sources of power. The court found that the ordinances were substantially consistent with the objectives and goals of the Master Plan. Although the court said the plaintiffs had put forward compelling arguments against the solar arrays, the court noted that the Township had weighed the “need for energy independence and the reduction of carbon emissions as legitimate objectives of zoning.” The court further found that the use of solar energy was “an inherently beneficial use, which is of value to the community, serves a public good, and promotes public welfare.” The court also found that use of the land for solar arrays was consistent with “a natural use of the land” and that it was “within the prerogative of the legislative body to consider the environmental advantage of renewable solar energy and to balance that against other environmental impacts.”