A man from Minnesota has been sentenced to six months in prison for installing a wind turbine in his own backyard.
Jay Nygard joins a growing list of “off the grid” citizens who have served or are currently serving jail time, as the Federal government wage a war on the rights of private property owners.
The trouble started for Jay Nygard when he installed a 29-foot-tall wind turbine next to his home in 2010. Nygard is the owner of Go Green Energy, a company which produces miniature wind turbines as well as the turbines of the same make installed near his home.
One can assume that he installed the wind turbine to take advantage of the products he sells for a living. Originally, legal issues emerged because neighbors complained to the city, saying that Nygard’s turbine was “an eyesore.”
One of his neighbors, who sued him over the presence of the wind turbine, said that the turbine’s unpleasant visage took away their “freedom and enjoyment” of their property.
Nygard fought the courts, who ordered him to remove the turbine on more than one occasion, for years. Though he resisted, he eventually caved to the pressure and had the turbines removed.
Yet, this was not enough for the city government who demanded that the turbines cement base also be removed. Despite the fact that three engineers said that the removal of the base would cause structural damage to Nygard’s home, the city continued to demand its removal.
According to Nygard’s son, he even tried to add an easement to the house’s deed saying that when the house is demolished the pad must be removed. He managed to remove 50% of the base in order to avoid damaging his family’s home.
Despite his best efforts, Nygard ultimately was given six months prison time last year for failing to remove 100% of the base.