The grain leg at the center of the Carroll County case.

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a Carroll County farmer will have to remove or modify a grain elevator built near the Arthur  Neu Municipal Airport.

Loren Danner built what’s called grain leg back in 2009 to move grain around to several bins. His farm is in the flight path of the airport and the county airport commission determined the 12-story structure intrudes into restricted airspace and needed to be removed or modified.

Danner got a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration that said there was no hazard to air flight if the structure was painted and had lights on it. Danner painted the gain leg and added the lights and argued the federal regulations aren’t preempted by local regulations.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the FAA no-hazard determination does not preempt local zoning requirements, and found the gain leg constitutes a threat that requires action.  The court did throw out $200-a-day penalty imposed on Danner by the district court for not taking action to modify or remove the grain leg.

The Supreme Court says the clock should be restarted and Danner will have nine months from this ruling to take action before the penalty starts again.

Here’s the ruling: Carroll-County-grain-leg-PDF