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Appeals court allows home wind turbine

ORONO, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals says the city of Orono erred when it denied a permit to a resident for his home-built wind turbine.

City officials told Jay Nygard the turbine on his property near Lake Minnetonka was not allowed under Orono's residential zoning ordinance. Nygard built it anyway. The vertical-axis machine is about 20 feet high and is mounted about eight feet off the ground. The mechanical engineer says the machine is quiet and efficient, but his neighbors complained about the aesthetics.

A district court ordered Nygard to disassemble the machine. The appeals court ruling Monday noted the city allowed other structures that are not included in its zoning ordinance, including basketball hoops and flagpoles. The Star Tribune  says the city has 20 days to decide whether to appeal.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.