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Dedham selectmen must decide to pursue windmill appeal  

DEDHAM – It’ll be up to selectmen to decide about fighting the Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision to kill a plan to install a windmill at Fairbanks Park.

Assistant Town Administrator Nancy Baker told selectmen last night that the Park and Recreation Commission itself does not have the authority to bring a lawsuit.

Commissioners voted Monday to appeal the Zoning Board’s Oct. 4 denial of a permit for a 90-foot wind turbine, which would power the lights at Fairbanks Park. The appeal, Baker said, “would have to come from selectmen.”

Park and Recreation Chairman Donald Reisner, who outlined his objections to the Zoning Board process to selectmen, said after the meeting he was encouraged by the board’s response.

“I just wanted to get my point across,” Reisner said. “They seemed receptive.”

The town secured $57,000 to purchase and install a wind turbine at Fairbanks Park at Town Meeting in April.

The plan needed a permit from the Zoning Board because the windmill exceeded the height allowed by town bylaws by 5 feet. The board voted 3-2 in favor of the plan, but four affirmative votes are required for passage.

A group of residents of the area near Fairbanks Park opposed the windmill because of concerns it would create noise and look bad.

Reisner said he would appeal the ruling because the Zoning Board did not make written submissions of residents available and that reasons for denial given by those voting against the plan – neighborhood opposition and financial concerns – went beyond the purview of the board.

“If I had received a copy of the submittals from residents, their questions could have been addressed,” Reisner said.

Selectman James MacDonald said experience indicated that if the board did support the park commissioner’s appeal, there was a good chance the courts would simply remand the decision back to the Zoning Board for another hearing.

Zoning Board members J.H. Rumpp and Gregory Jacobsen, who voted in favor of the windmill, attended the meeting last night, but did not comment because of the potential for a lawsuit.

In addition to discussing the windmill, selectmen last night approved liquor licenses for the new National Amusements 15-screen movie theater planned for the Legacy Place development. The licenses will allow alcohol to be served at a new restaurant in the theater and in VIP areas of the cinema.

The board also approved a wine and beer package store license to a new wine and cheese shop called Bon ViVant Wines & Jillybeannes Gourmet Gallery planned for 568 High St. in Dedham Square,

By Patrick Anderson

The Daily News Transcript

19 October 2007

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